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The history of Neurocluster Brain Model

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The “Neurocluster Brain Model” was developed independently and absolutely from scratch, not knowing anything about similar theories.
The question later arose: Has anyone ever developed similar theories?
It turned out that “yes”, such developments were made – starting from around 1890, Pierre Janet, Morton Prince and others had been working seriously in this area of research. However, later, after 1910s, this direction of research was practically forgotten, and later, if anyone tried to work in this direction, they simply reinvented the wheel, not knowing anything about the achievements of the 1890s, and not reaching even the microscopic fraction of what had already been achieved in the 1890s.
At first glance these theories might look different, because they were made by researchers who have different backgrounds and they have used different tools and different terminology to describe the same phenomena. However all these theories have one thing in common – they all provide small ideas, small pieces, small building blocks suitable for building of Neurocluster Brain Model.
Some of these researchers during their entire career wrote just a single sentence providing just a rough idea, while other researchers provided hundreds of pages of valuable material and experimental data.
Several of these researchers had developed comprehensive logical theories, while majority of other researchers just accidently wrote several suitable sentences in their self-contradictory pouring from one empty vessel into another, without understanding what they are talking about, just like in a famous proverb “even a stopped clock is right twice a day”.
Everything that we managed to find about similar theories, we have put on this page.

As it was mentioned earlier, the most productive era of scientific research was from 1890s until 1910s, and later it drastically declined going down almost to zero. The good news is that according to the law in United States, every book published prior to 1925 is in the public domain, which means that you can easily get these books for free and these books are not copyrighted. Please note that Google search does not help you when searching for these free books, because Google search prioritizes commercial links which sell these free books and very often Google search simply hides links to free version of the book. We advise you to use “Internet Archive” (archive.org) instead of Google when searching for these free books. Another alternative source of books is “Library Genesis (Libgen)”.


Prototypes of Neurocluster Brain Model

Different researchers working in completely different areas have reached similar conclusions and have built similar prototypes of Neurocluster Brain Model.
As for example, Marvin Minsky came to these conclusions while he was trying to create intelligent robot machines, Roger Sperry while he was experimenting with split-brain patients, Pierre Janet while he was experimenting with hypnosis, Joseph-Pierre Durand while he was cutting lower animals in pieces, etc.
The table below contains shortened example list of researchers who have built crude incomplete prototypes of Neurocluster Brain Model.

Author
Field of activity
Theory, model or quote of conceptual idea
Roger Wolcott Sperry
Nobel laureate in Physiology and Medicine for his achievements in split-brain research in year 1981, American neuropsychologist, neurobiologist.
Excerpt: “Instead of the normally unified single stream of consciousness, these patients behave in many ways as if they have two independent streams of conscious awareness, one in each hemisphere, each of which is cut off from and out of contact with the mental experiences of the other. In other words, each hemisphere seems to have its own separate and private sensations; its own perceptions; its own concepts; and its own impulses to act, with related volitional, cognitive, and learning experiences.”
Michael S. Gazzaniga
The author of the term “cognitive neuroscience” (the term “cognitive neuroscience” was coined by Michael S. Gazzaniga and George Armitage Miller in year 1976), american neuropsychologist, professor of psychology, the student and colleague of Nobel laureate Roger Wolcott Sperry, with whom he carried out experiments with split-brain patients.
“The Interpreter” Theory (a.k.a. “Left brain interpreter” Theory)
Excerpt: “the normal brain is organized into modular-processing systems, hundreds of them or maybe even thousands, and that these modules can usually express themselves only through real action, not through verbal communication. Most of these systems, not unlike those existing in animals, can remember events, store affective reactions to those events, and respond to stimuli associated with a particular memory.”
Carl Gustav Jung
Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, the founder of analytical psychology, the follower and colleague of Sigmund Freud who is the founder of psychoanalysis.
Excerpt: “The so-called unity of consciousness is an illusion. <...> We like to think that we are one; but we are not, most decidedly not. <...>I hold that the personal unconscious, as well as the collective unconscious, consists of an indefinite, because unknown, number of complexes or fragmentary personalities. <...> The complexes, then, are partial or fragmentary personalities. <...> So we may ask the question: Do complexes have a consciousness of their own? If you study spiritualism, you must admit that the so-called spirits manifested in automatic writing or through the voice of a medium do indeed have a sort of consciousness of their own.”
Marvin Minsky
One of the founding fathers of the artificial intelligence, co-founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s artificial intelligence laboratory.
“The Society of Mind” Theory
Excerpt: “you can build a mind from many little parts, each mindless by itself. <...> each mind is made of many smaller processes. These well call agents. Each mental agent by itself can only do some simple thing that needs no mind or thought at all. Yet when we join these agents in societies – in certain very special ways – this leads to true intelligence.”
Pierre Marie Félix Janet
Pierre Janet is ranked alongside William James and Wilhelm Wundt as one of the founding fathers of psychology.
Pierre Janet coined the terms “dissociation” and “subconscious”.
Dissociation Theory
William James
William James is ranked alongside Pierre Janet and Wilhelm Wundt as one of the founding fathers of psychology.
Ecerpt: “It must be admitted, therefore, that in certain persons, at least, the total possible consciousness may be split into parts which coexist but mutually ignore each other, and share the objects of knowledge between them. More remarkable still, they are complementary. Give an object to one of the consciousnesses, and by that fact you remove it from the other or others. Barring a certain common fund of information, like the command of language, etc., what the upper self knows the under self is ignorant of, and vice versa.”
Ernest Ropiequet "Jack" Hilgard
American psychologist and professor. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Hilgard as the 29th most cited psychologist of the 20th century.
Ernest Hilgard developed the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scales.
“Hidden Observer” Theory and Neo-dissociation Theory
Jeff Hawkins
American founder of “Palm Computing” and “Handspring” where he invented the PalmPilot and Treo.
In 2003, Hawkins was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering “for the creation of the hand-held computing paradigm and the creation of the first commercially successful example of a hand-held computing device.”
“The Thousand Brains Theory of Intelligence” Theory
Julian Jaynes
American psychologist.
“Bicameral Mind” Theory
Daniel Dennett
American philosopher and cognitive scientist.
Excerpt: “Yes, we have a soul, but it’s made of lots of tiny robots.”
Robert Evan Ornstein
American psychologist and researcher.
Excerpt: “The mind is a squadron of simpletons.”
Michio Kaku
American theoretical physicist, futurist, and popularizer of science. Author of various popular science books.
Excerpt: “analogy for the brain <...> is that of a large corporation.”
Thomas R. Blakeslee
Graduate of California Institute of Technology, Engineering Vice President, the founder of Orion Instruments Inc., inventor, holds patents in such diverse fields as photography, hydraulics, electronic circuits, information display, digital telephony, instrumentation and vehicle guidance.
Book “Beyond the Conscious Mind. Unlocking the Secrets of the Self”.
The most complete prototype of Neurocluster Brain Model was described in book “Beyond the Conscious Mind. Unlocking the Secrets of the Self” written by Thomas R. Blakeslee in year 1996. This book contains excellent and clear presentation of the material. This book is a must-read excellent supplementary material for studying Neurocluster Brain Model.
George Ivanovich Gurdjieff
(rus. Георгий Иванович Гурджиев)
Russian occultist, mystic, spiritual teacher, writer, composer, the founder of the “Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man”.
Excerpt: “Man has no individual I. But there are, instead, hundreds and thousands of separate small I’s.”
Lafayette Ronald Hubbard
The founder of Dianetics and Scientology. The founder and leader of the Church of Scientology.
Excerpt: “demon is a parasitic circuit. It has an action in the mind which approximates another entity than self.”





Brief history of Neurocluster Brain Model

Stage #1.
Early humans thought that the heart is the seat of intelligence and soul. Early humans thought that the function of the brain was some kind of “cranial stuffing” which has nothing to do with intelligence or soul.

Stage #2.
Greek physician Hippocrates was among the first to propose that the brain is the seat of intelligence, not the heart.

Stage #3.
In year 1664 René Descartes in his work “Treatise of Man” was the first to propose the idea of the reflex arc, however he incorrectly assumed that reflex arc is composed of hydraulic pipes.

Stage #4.
In year 1747 Julien Offray de La Mettrie in his work “Machine Man” (or “The Human Mechanism”) (French: “L'homme machine”) postulated that humans and animals are mere automatons or machines, and denied the existence of the soul as a substance separate from matter. The doctrine that man is a machine is still not widely accepted and still meets fierce resistance from religious adepts who mimic “scientists”.

Stage #5.
In year1780 Luigi Aloisio Galvani discovered that the muscles of dead frogs’ legs twitched when struck by an electrical spark. This finding proved that nervous system is a network which carries electrical signals.

Stage #6.
In year 1894 Santiago Ramón y Cajal postulated the neuron doctrine, which states that nervous system is composed of distinct individual elements called “neurons”. The neuron doctrine theory eventually became the foundation of modern neuroscience but its acceptance came slowly. The neuron doctrine was finally accepted only in 1950s when newly invented electron microscopy unambiguously demonstrated that nerve cells were individual cells interconnected through synapses to form a nervous system.

Stage #7.
In year 1981 Roger Wolcott Sperry was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his experiments with split-brain patients which revealed that the cutting of corpus callosum produces two(2) autonomous personalities, two(2) autonomous consciousnesses, and for those who believe in the existence of soul – two(2) autonomous souls. Split-brain experiments revealed that one(1) human consciousness can be artificially divided into two(2) consciousnesses by simple cutting of corpus callosum. The experimental proof that multiple independent autonomous consciousnesses coexist inside the same brain is still rejected and still meets fierce resistance from religious adepts who mimic “scientists”.

Stage #8.
In July 11, 2013 official Neurocluster Brain Model site went online. Neurocluster Brain Model states that the brain is made up of a constellation of independent or semi-independent agents, and these agents, these processes can carry on a vast number of activities outside of the main personality’s conscious awareness. Neurocluster Brain Model explains how independent massively parallel information processing explains the underlying mechanism of previously unexplainable phenomena such as sleepwalking, dissociative identity disorder (a.k.a. multiple personality disorder), hypnosis, etc. For the first time ever all religious experiences (communication with Gods, angels, demons, etc) and psychic powers (mediumship, psychography, telepathy, etc) are revealed and explained in the scientific way.



Chronological history of Neurocluster Brain Model

Below is the chronological list of the theories and hypotheses which are somewhat similar to Neurocluster Brain Model.
Below is the list of the most prominent researchers who independently, on their own, had developed crude incomplete prototypes of Neurocluster Brain Model thus contributing to the advance of science.

Book (or article) title
Author
Year
Comments and excerpts


late 18th century
People have been entering into hypnotic-type trances for thousands of years; however the father of “modern hypnotism” is Franz Mesmer (1734–1815) who popularized hypnosis in the late 18th century.
The first hypnotists were very surprised by the fact that during the induced hypnosis, a new personality manifested itself of which the subject was unaware. During entire nineteenth century the researchers were preoccupied with the problem of the coexistence of these two minds and of their relationship to each other.
Two models evolved: first, a concept of the duality of the human mind (dipsychism or doubleego) and, later, a notion of the human mind is composed from a cluster of subpersonalities (polypsychism).
Opera, Ed.
Straßburg 1646, Bd. 2, S. 553
Paracelsus

(Latin: Paracelsus)

(full name: Latin: Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim)
1646
Paracelsus was a Swiss physician, alchemist, lay theologian, and philosopher.
Paracelsus was maybe the first who described the case of multiple personality disorder. In posthumous publication in 1646 (he died in 1541), Paracelsus described a case of a woman who was amnesic for an alter personality who stole her money.
The original book of Paracelsus is lost or never existed.
The earliest reference to the book of Paracelsus is in German book “Menschen- und Tierhypnose”, written by Ferenc András Völgyesi and Gerhard Klumbies which was published in Zürich in 1963, in pages 28–29.
English translation of this book is “Hypnosis of Man and Animals”, which was published in year 1963 and 1966.

Excerpt from page 16:
In his Opera (Strasbourg, 1646; vol. 2, p. 553), Paracelsus describes in detail how the monks from the Cloister near Kärnter Ossiach healed patients from the surrounding areas by letting them gaze at a crystal ball until they fell asleep. He was much interested too in the phenomenon of “moon-struck” behavior, and in spontaneous and artificially induced somnambulism as well. He quotes examples of this: e.g. the hostess of a tavern near Basel had accused her servants for many months of stealing the daily takings. One day she found blood on her bedclothes and on the table, where there were also pieces of broken glass. It then came out that her “second self” as a sleep-walker pilfered her own money, which her “original self” later found intact, hidden away in the roof. The “original self” remembered nothing of this activity.
Treatise of Man
René Descartes
1664

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_pain_theory
In his 1664 Treatise of Man, René Descartes theorized that the body was more similar to a machine, and that pain was a disturbance that passed down along nerve fibers until the disturbance reached the brain. This theory transformed the perception of pain from a spiritual, mystical experience to a physical, mechanical sensation meaning that a cure for such pain could be found by researching and locating pain fibers within the bodies rather than searching for an appeasement for god. This also moved the center of pain sensation and perception from the heart to the brain. Descartes proposed his theory by presenting an image of a man's hand being struck by a hammer. In between the hand and the brain, Descartes described a hollow tube with a cord beginning at the hand and ending at a bell located in the brain. The blow of the hammer would induce pain in the hand, which would pull the cord in the hand and cause the bell located in the brain to ring, indicating that the brain had received the painful message. Researchers began to pursue physical treatments such as cutting specific pain fibers to prevent the painful signal from cascading to the brain.


Man a Machine

(French “L'Homme Machine”)
Julien Offray de La Mettrie
1748


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julien_Offray_de_La_Mettrie
Julien Offray de La Mettrie (November 23, 1709 – November 11, 1751) was a French physician and philosopher, and one of the earliest of the French materialists of the Enlightenment. He is best known for his work L'homme machine ("Machine Man" or "The Human Mechanism").
<….>
Man and the animal
Prior to Man a Machine he published The Natural History of the Soul in 1745. He argued that humans were just complex animals. A great deal of controversy emerged due to his belief that "from animals to man there is no abrupt transition". He later built of that idea claiming that humans and animals were composed of organized matter. He believed that humans and animals were only different in regards to the complexity that matter was organized. He compared the differences between man and animal to those of high quality pendulum clocks and watches stating: "[Man] is to the ape, and to the most intelligent animals, as the planetary pendulum of Huygens is to a watch of Julien Le Roy". The idea that essentially no real difference between humans and animals existed was based on his findings that sensory feelings were present in animals and plants. While he did recognize that only humans spoke a language, he thought that animals were capable of learning a language. He used apes as an example, stating that if they were trained they would be "perfect [men]". He further expressed his ideas that man was not very different from animals by suggesting that we learn through imitation as do animals.

His beliefs about humans and animals were based on two types of continuity. The first being weak continuity, suggesting that humans and animals are made of the same things but are organized differently. His main emphasis however was on strong continuity, the idea that the psychology and behavior between humans and animals was not all that different.

Man a Machine
La Mettrie believed that man worked like a machine due to mental thoughts depending on bodily actions. He then argued that the organization of matter at a high and complex level resulted in human thought. He did not believe in the existence of God. He rather chose to argue that the organization of humans was done to provide the best use of complex matter as possible.

La Mettrie arrived at this belief after finding that his bodily and mental illnesses were associated with each other. After gathering enough evidence, in medical and psychological fields, he published the book.

Some of the evidence La Mettrie presented was disregarded due to the nature of it. He argued that events such as a beheaded chicken running around or a recently removed heart of an animal still working proved the connection between the brain and the body. While theories did build off La Mettrie's, his works were not necessarily scientific. Rather, his writings were controversial and defiant.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_a_Machine
Man a Machine (French: L'homme Machine) is a work of materialist philosophy by the 18th-century French physician and philosopher Julien Offray de La Mettrie, first published in 1747. In this work, de La Mettrie extends Descartes' argument that animals were mere automatons or machines to human beings, denying the existence of the soul as a substance separate from matter.


Luigi Aloisio Galvani
1791


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luigi_Galvani
Luigi Aloisio Galvani (Latin: Aloysius Galvanus; 9 September 1737 – 4 December 1798) was an Italian physician, physicist, biologist and philosopher, who discovered animal electricity. He is recognized as the pioneer of bioelectromagnetics. In 1780, he discovered that the muscles of dead frogs' legs twitched when struck by an electrical spark. This was one of the first forays into the study of bioelectricity, a field that still studies the electrical patterns and signals from tissues such as the nerves and muscles.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balloonist_theory
In 1791, Luigi Galvani learned that frogs' muscles could be made to move by the application of electricity. This finding provided a basis for the current understanding that electrical energy (carried by ions), and not air or fluid, is the impetus behind muscle movement.

Rhapsodies About Applying the Psychological Method of Treatment to Mental Breakdowns

(German “Rhapsodieen über die Anwendung der psychischen Curmethode auf Geisteszerrüttungen”)
Johann Christian Reil
1803
Johann Christian Reil was a German physician, physiologist, anatomist, and psychiatrist.
Johann Reil coined the term “psychiatry” (German: Psychiatrie) in 1808.
He also coined the term “mental therapy hospital” (mental hospital).
Johann Reil started the first scientific journal dedicated to physiology and the first German psychiatric journal.
Johann Reil claimed that insanity is the result of the dissociation of the rational “self”.
He connected the phenomenon of dissociated personalities with a similar occurrence that is manifested in dreams.
Johann Reil explained dreams using the model of the complex cluster of personalities, with one of whom the dreamer identifies himself, and other personalities act autonomously.

Excerpt from page 93-94:
Finally I have to mention a strange kind of dream. The actors appear, the roles are distributed; of these, the dreamer takes only one that he connects with his own personality. All the other actors are to him as foreign as strangers, although they and all their actions are the creation of the dreamer’s own fantasy. One hears people speaking in foreign languages, admires the talent of a great orator, is astounded by the profound wisdom of a teacher who explains to us things of which we do not remember ever having heard.

[original in German]
Endlich muss ich noch einer sonderbaren Art der Träume erwähnen. Die Schauspieler treten auf, die Rollen werden verheilt von denselben nimmt der Träumer nur eine, die er mit feiner Persönlichkeit verbindet. Alle andere Akteurs find ihm so fremd, wie fremde Menschen, ob sie gleich, so wie alle ihre Handlungen, Geschöpfe feiner eignen, also der nämlichen Phantasie sind. Man hört Menschen zu, die in fremden Sprachen reden, bewundert die Talente eines großen Redners und erstaunt über die tiefe Weisheit eines Lehrers, der uns über Gegenstände ausgärt, von denen wir uns nicht besinnen jemals etwas gehört zu haben.
A new view of insanity. The duality of the mind proved by the structure, functions, and diseases of the brain, and by the phenomena of mental derangement, and shewn to be essential to moral responsibility.
Arthur Ladbroke Wigan
1844
Arthur Ladbroke Wigan was a British general practitioner (family doctor).
Arthur Wigan found out that one man lived apparently unremarkable life and after his death it was found out that his one cerebral hemisphere was destroyed by a disease.
Arthur Wigan was surprised by the fact one hemisphere was destroyed with preservation of the personality and concluded that if possession of a “mind” requires only one hemisphere, having two hemispheres makes possible the possession of two minds.
During a period of 20 years Wigan collected similar instances, concluding that each hemisphere on its own could support human consciousness, and that therefore we “must have two minds with two brains”, with mental disease resulting when they are in conflict.
Wigan’s idea that each hemisphere contains its own consciousness later was developed further by Roger Wolcott Sperry and Julian Jaynes.

The book contains poor presentation of material.

Excerpt from page 4:
<...> the mind is essentially dual, like the organs by which it is exercised.

Excerpt from pages 25-30:
I shall in future speak of the two cerebra instead of the two hemispheres
<…>
I believe myself then able to prove –
1. That each cerebrum is a distinct and perfect whole, as an organ of thought.
2. That a separate and distinct process of thinking or ratiocination may be carried on in each cerebrum simultaneously.
3. That each cerebrum is capable of a distinct and separate volition, and that these are very often opposing volitions.
4. That, in the healthy brain, one of the cerebra is almost always superior in power to the other, and capable of exercising control over the volitions of its fellow, and of preventing them from passing into acts, or from being manifested to others.
5. That when one of these cerebra becomes the subject of functional disorder, or of positive change of structure, of such a kind as to vitiate mind or induce insanity, the healthy organ can still, up to a certain point, control the morbid volitions of its fellow.
6. That this point depends partly on the extent of the disease or disorder, and partly on the degree of cultivation of the general brain in the art of self-government.
7. That when the disease or disorder of one cerebrum becomes sufficiently aggravated to defy the control of the other, the case is then one of the commonest forms of mental derangement or insanity; and that a lesser degree of discrepancy between the functions of the two cerebra constitutes the state of conscious delusion.
8. That in the insane, it is almost always possible to trace the intermixture of two synchronous trains of thought, and that it is the irregularly alternate utterance of portions of these two trains of thought which constitutes incoherence.
9. That of the two distinct simultaneous trains of thought, one may be rational and the other irrational, or both may be irrational; but that, in either case, the effect is the same, to deprive the discourse of coherence or congruity.
Even in furious mania, this double process may be generally perceived; often it takes the form of a colloquy between the diseased mind and the healthy one, and sometimes even resembles the steady continuous argument or narrative of a sane man, more or less frequently interrupted by a madman; but persevering with tenacity of purpose in the endeavour to overpower the intruder.
10. That when both cerebra are the subjects of disease, which is not of remittent periodicity, there are no lucid intervals, no attempt at self-control, and no means of promoting the cure; and that a spontaneous cure is rarely to be expected in such cases.
11. That however, where such mental derangement depends on inflammation, fever, gout, impoverished or diseased blood, or manifest bodily disease, it may often be cured by curing the malady which gave rise to it.
12. That in cases of insanity, not depending on structural injury, in which the patients retain the partial use of reason (from one of the cerebra remaining healthy or only slightly affected), the only mode in which the medical art can promote the cure beyond the means alluded to is by presenting motives of encouragement to the sound brain to exercise and strengthen its control over the unsound brain.
13. That the power of the higher organs of the intellect to coerce the mere instincts and propensities, as well as the power of one cerebrum to control the volitions of the other, may be indefinitely increased by exercise and moral cultivation; may be partially or wholly lost by desuetude or neglect; or, from depraved habits and criminal indulgence in childhood, and a general vicious education in a polluted moral atmosphere, may never have been acquired.
14. That one cerebrum may be entirely destroyed by disease, cancer, softening, atrophy, or absorption; may be annihilated, and in its place a yawning chasm; yet the mind remain complete and capable of exercising its functions in the same manner and to the same extent that one eye is capable of exercising the faculty of vision when its fellow is injured or destroyed; although there are some exercises of the brain, as of the eye, which are better performed with two organs than one. In the case of vision, the power of measuring distances for example, and in the case of the brain, the power of concentrating the thoughts upon one subject, deep consideration, hard study; but in this latter case, it is difficult to decide how far the diminished power depends on diminution of general vigour from formidable and necessarily fatal disease.
15. That a lesion or injury of both cerebra is incompatible with such an exercise of the intellectual functions, as the common sense of mankind would designate sound mind.
16. That from the apparent division of each cerebrum into three lobes, it is a natural and reasonable presumption that the three portions have distinct offices, and highly probable that the three great divisions of the mental functions laid down by phrenologists, are founded in nature; whether these distinctions correspond with the natural divisions is a different question, but the fact of different portions of the brain executing different functions, is too well established to admit of denial from any physiologist.
17. That it is an error to suppose the two sides of the cranium to be always alike, that on the contrary, it is rarely found that the two halves of the exterior surface exactly correspond; that indeed, in the insane, there is often a notable difference – still more frequent in idiots, and especially in congenital idiots.
18. That the object and effect of a well-managed education are to establish and confirm the power of concentrating the energies of both brains on the same subject at the same time; that is, to make both cerebra carry on the same train of thought together, as the object of moral discipline is to strengthen the power of self-control; not merely the power of both intellectual organs to govern the animal propensities and passions, but the intellectual antagonism of the two brains, each (so to speak) a sentinel and security for the other while both are healthy; and the healthy one to correct and control the erroneous judgments of its fellow when disordered.
19. That it is the exercise of this power of compelling the combined attention of both brains to the same object, till it becomes easy and habitual, that constitutes the great superiority of the disciplined scholar over the self-educated man; the latter may perhaps possess a greater stock of useful knowledge, but set him to study anew subject, and he is soon outstripped by the other, who has acquired the very difficult accomplishment of thinking of only one thing at a time; that is, of concentrating the action of both brains on the same subject.
20. That every man is, in his own person, conscious of two volitions, and very often conflicting volitions, quite distinct from the government of the passions by the intellect; a consciousness so universal, that it enters into all figurative language on the moral feelings and sentiments, has been enlisted into the service of every religion, and forms the basis of some of them, as the Manichsæan.

Excerpt from page 40:
One hemisphere was entirely gone – that was evident to my senses; the patient, a man about fifty years of age, had conversed rationally and even written verses, within a few days of his death; <...>

Excerpt from pages 41-42:
Dr. Conolly mentions the case of a gentleman who, from applying St. John Long's embrocation to the cheek for some ailment in the part, established so serious a disease that it spread through the orbit into the cerebrum, and by very slow degrees destroyed his life. He was a man of family and independence, <…>. On examining the skull, one brain was entirely destroyed – gone, annihilated – and in its place (in the narrator's emphatic language) “a yawning chasm”. All his mental faculties were apparently quite perfect. <…> his mind was clear and undisturbed to within a few hours of his death.

Excerpt from page 42:
Dr. James Johnson mentions to me another example of a gentleman under his care, who retained the entire possession of his faculties to the last day of his existence, yet on opening the skull, one cerebrum was reduced by absorption to a thin membrane – the whole solid contents of the one-half of the cranium, above the tentorium, absolutely gone. The gentleman was subject to epileptic fits, but had no other indication of cerebral disturbance.
The above cases are more than enough to shew that one cerebrum is alone sufficient as an organ of thought.

Excerpt from page 271:
If, for example, as I have so often stated, and now again repeat, one brain be a perfect instrument of thought – if it be capable of all the emotions, sentiments, and faculties, which we call in the aggregate, mind – then it necessarily follows that man must have two minds with two brains; and however intimate and perfect their unison in their natural state, they must occasionally be discrepant, when influenced by disease, either direct, sympathetic, or reflex.
Vital Electro-Dynamism: or, the Physiological Relationships of Mind and Matter, Demonstrated by Entirely New Experiences and by the Reasoned History of the Nervous System

(French “Electro-dynamisme vital: ou, les relations physiologiques de l'esprit et de la matière, démontrées par des expériences entièrement nouvelles et par l'histoire raisonnée du système nerveux”)
Joseph-Pierre Durand (de Gros)

(Pseudonym: Joseph-Pierre Philips)
1855
Joseph-Pierre Durand de Gros was a French doctor.
Joseph-Pierre Durand de Gros described maybe the earliest prototype of Neurocluster Brain Model, which is shortly described in the book of Henri Frédéric Ellenberger “The Discovery of the Unconscious: The History and Evolution of Dynamic Psychiatry” (1970), in page 146:
Polypsychism
This word seems to have been coined by the magnetizer Durand (de Gros). He claimed that the human organism consisted of anatomical segments, each of which had a psychic ego of its own, and all of them subjected to a general ego, the Ego-in-Chief, which was our usual consciousness. In this legion each subego had a consciousness of its own, was able to perceive and to keep memories and to elaborate complex psychic operations. The sum total of these subegos constituted our unconscious life. Durand (de Gros) went so far as to say that, when undergoing surgery under anesthesia, certain of these subegos suffered atrociously, although the conscious ego remained totally ignorant of those sufferings. In hypnosis, the main ego was pushed aside and the hypnotizer gained a direct access to a number of the subegos.

Excerpt from pages 94-98:
[translation by Google Translate]
Experimental Physiology provides certain facts which seem to me to lend entirely decisive support to the thesis which I undertook to defend, and of which, consequently, I could have dispensed with refuting the opponents in detail, if it had not been the fear of leaving some obscurity behind me.
176. The constitution of the lower animals, which are the species representation of the low degrees of the organic evolution of the higher animals, contains clear evidence that several distinct souls can be associated with the same vital body and cohabit in the same body, not point that they are not united there under a unitary direction, but that without prejudice of a sphere of spontaneity specific to each, and being able to isolate in certain cases and to be circumscribed within clearly marked limits. This is clearly shown to us by an experience of ignorant cruel children, alas! too familiar.
A snail being cut transversely by the corselet, now the two halves of the insect, such as two complete insects, and although entirely detached from each other, move separately; and these movements, rationally coordinated and directed towards a marked goal, show the undeniable action of two sensitivities, two intelligences and two wills, currently exercising in absolute reciprocal independence. Thus the Abdomen flees hastily on all fours, as if obeying the feeling of fear and the desire to escape the pursuit of the enemy, while the Head seems to draw courage from despair, and, supported on its two ambulacres, stands up proudly against the aggressor and opposes a menacing forceps whose embrace has not ceased to be formidable.
177. As it is impossible to suppose that the simple fact of the division of the body of the Beetle created, out of nothing (ex nihilo) and instantly, an animic center in its abdominal section, we are forced to admit that this center of life already existed in this organ during its union with the head; we are forced to admit that the body of the animal, instead of being a simple instrument at the disposal of a lonely soul in a desert, is a numerous orchestra whose musicians perform, under the direction of a single chef, the harmonious concert of vital functions.
To invalidate the legitimacy of the application to the whole animality of the law which we have just noted in a species of insects, one can point out to me that the experimental phenomenon which reveals it to us only occurs in the lower degrees of Animal Kingdom, and no wax obtained on the most perfect animals. I answer:
178. The multiplicity of animic centers exists in the higher organizations as in the lower organizations; but, owing to the degree of perfection of these, the secondary centers there are more closely and more rigorously subordinated to the capital center. Their actions are based entirely on the action of it, when it ceases, all cease. Thus a building constructed in simple vertical walls can lose its crowning without its sides collapsing and without its base being shaken; but if it belongs to the more learned construction of the vaults, that the key of the vault falls, and everything collapses at the same instant.

Summary.
179. The analytical considerations whose rigorous but easy sequence we have just followed have led us to the following conclusions:
1st. All vital functions have as their primary engine an animal essence, an SOUL;
2nd. Every soul is essentially constituted by a set of inseparable properties, its FACULTIES;
3rd. Any particular vital function is brought into play by a particular animic faculty from which it receives all its impulse, from which it borrows all its attributes and attributes, of which it is purely and simply the objective expression, and which we call its vital faculty, Soul and Vitality designating for us from now on one and the same principle, considered, in the first case, individually, and, in the second, substantially;
4th. The soul enters into relation with the world of matter by means of material organs;
5th. Each of its faculties has its special organ;
6th. The most immediate organ of the soul, the existence of which the Anatomy can ascertain, is the nerve;
7th. Reasoned Physiology demonstrates that the nerve is only the sheath, the conducting channel, of the active and truly immediate organ of the soul, which is vital electricity;
8th. Every soul is served by a nervous system composed of so many elements, that is to say so many species of fibers, that it has the faculties to exercise;
9th. The soul occupies the center of the nervous system, and, from its atomic focus, as from a radiant point with multicolored radiation, its various faculties dart their specific activities, in rays of electricity, by as many distinct fibers, the two animic and nervous focal points, and their electrical and fibrous expansions, thus offering us the graphic representation of two exactly coincident systems;
10th. To any fiber corresponds naked animic faculty;
11th. The distinctive properties of the vital actions of which each fiber is the seat go back to the animic faculty itself, and to it exclusively they belong in an absolutely intrinsic way;
12th. “The effective action of the outside world on vital functions”, which we had first led to let define “the excitement of the fibers by which these functions are accomplished”, is circumscribed, in final analysis, in this extreme and irreducible expression:
The effective action of the outside world on the functions of life is the excitation of vital faculties by the intermediate excitation of the corresponding fibers.


[original in French]
La Physiologie Expérimentale possède certains faits qui me semblent prêter un appui tout à fait décisif à la thèse que j’ai entrepris de soutenir, et dont, par conséquent, j’aurais pu me dispenser de réfuter en détail les contradicteurs, n’eût été la crainte de laisser quelque obscurité derrière moi.
176. La constitution des Animaux inférieurs, qui sont la représentation en espèces des bas degrés de l’évolution organique des Animaux supérieurs, renferme la preuve manifeste que plusieurs âmes distinctes peuvent être associées à une même œuvre vitale et cohabiter dans un même corps, non point qu’elles n’y soient réunies sous une direction unitaire, mais cela sans préjudice d’une sphère de spontanéité propre à chacune, et pouvant s’isoler dans certains cas et se circonscrire dans des limites nettement tranchées. C’est ce qui nous est montré bien clairement par une expérience que l’ignare cruauté des enfants leur rend, hélas! trop familière.
Un escarbot étant coupé transversalement par le corselet, voilà que les deux moitiés de l’insecte, telles que deux insectes complets, et quoique entièrement détachées l’une de l’autre, se meuvent séparément; et ces mouvements, rationnellement coordonnés cl dirigés vers un but marqué, accusent l’action bien incontestable de deux sensitivités, de deux intelligences et de deux volontés, s’exerçant actuellement dans une indépendance réciproque absolue. Ainsi l’Abdomen fuit précipitamment sur ses quatre pattes, comme obéissant au sentiment de la frayeur cl au désir de se soustraire à la poursuite de l’ennemi, tandis que la Tête semble puiser le courage dans le désespoir, et, soutenue sur ses deux ambulacres, se redresse fièrement contre l’agresseur cl lui oppose une pince menaçante dont l’étreinte n’a pas encore cessé d’être redoutable.
177. Comme il est impossible de supposer que le simple fait de la division du corps du Coléoptère ait créé, è nihilo et instantanément, un centre animique dans son tronçon abdominal, force nous est bien d’admettre que ce centre de vie existait déjà dans cet organe pendant son union avec la tête; force nous est bien d’admettre que le corps de l’animal, au lieu d’être un simple instrument à la disposition d’une âme isolée dans un désert, est un orchestre nombreux dont les musiciens exécutent, sous la direction d’un chef unique, le concert harmonieux des fonctions vitales.
Pour infirmer la légitimité de l’application à l’Animalité entière de la loi que nous venons de constater chez une espèce d’insectes, on pourra me faire observer que le phénomène expérimental qui nous la révèle ne se produit que dans les bas degrés du Règne Animal, et ne peut cire obtenu sur les animaux plus parfaits. Je réponds:
178. La multiplicité des centres animiques existe dans les organisations supérieures comme dans les organisations inférieures; mais, en raison du degré de perfection de celles-là, les centres secondaires y sont plus étroitement et plus rigoureusement subordonnés au centre capital. Leurs actions s’appuyant tout entières sur l’action de celui-ci, quand elle cesse, toutes cessent. Ainsi un édifice construit en simples parois verticales peut perdre son couronnement sans que ses flancs s’effondrent et sans que sa base en soit ébranlée; mais s’il appartient à la construction plus savante des voûtes, que la clef de la voûte tombe, et tout s’écroule au même instant.

Résumé.
179. Les considérations analytiques dont nous venons de suivre l’enchaînement rigoureux, mais facile, nous ont conduits aux conclusions suivantes:
1° Toutes les fonctions vitales ont pour moteur premier une force d’essence animique, une AME;
2° Toute âme est essentiellement constituée par un ensemble de propriétés inséparables, ses FACULTES;
3° Toute fonction vitale particulière est mise en jeu par une faculté animique particulière dont elle reçoit toute son impulsion, dont elle emprunte tous ses caractères cl attributs, dont elle est purement et simplement l’expression objective, et que nous nommons sa faculté vitale, Ame et Vitalité désignant pour nous désormais un seul et même principe, considéré, dans le premier cas, individuellement, et, dans le second, substantiellement;
4° L’âme entre en relation avec le monde de la matière au moyen d’organes matériels;
5° Chacune de ses facultés possède son organe spécial;
6° L’organe le plus immédiat de l’âme, dont l’Anatomie puisse constater l’existence, c’est le nerf;
7° La Physiologie Raisonnée démontre que le nerf n’est que le fourreau, le canal conducteur, de l’organe actif el véritablement immédiat de l’âme, lequel est l’électricité vitale;
8° Toute âme est servie par un système nerveux composé d’autant d’éléments, c’est-à-dire d’autant d’espèces de fibres, qu’elle a de facultés à exercer;
9° L’âme occupe le centre du système nerveux, et, de son foyer atome, comme d’un point radieux au rayonnement multicolore, ses facultés diverses dardent leurs activités spécifiques, en rayons d’électricité, par autant de fibres distinctes, les deux foyers animique cl nerveux, et leurs expansions électrique et fibreuse, nous offrant ainsi la représentation graphique de deux systèmes exactement coïncidents;
10° A toute fibre correspond nue faculté animique;
11° Les propriétés distinctives des actions vitales dont chaque fibre est le siège remontent jusqu’à la faculté animique elle-même, el à elle exclusivement elles appartiennent d’une manière absolument intrinsèque;
12° «L’action effective du monde extérieur sur les fonctions vitales», que nous avions amenée d’abord à se laisser définir «l’excitation des fibres par lesquelles s’accomplissent ces fonctions», se trouve circonscrite, en analyse finale, dans celle expression extrême et irréductible:
L’action effective du monde extérieur sur les fonctions de la vie, c’est l’excitation des facultés vitales par l’excitation intermédiaire des fibres correspondantes.

Excerpt from pages 131-132:
[translation by Google Translate]
230. The multiplicity of souls is not a fact particular to vegetative life: the life of relation, in addition to its Capital Age, possesses several others on a subordinate basis, the number and the nervous seat of which are only very few, imperfectly recognized. The normal contraction of the involuntary muscles, the spasmodic contraction of the voluntary muscles, and, above all, the important category of the inonseonseal movements of the life of relation, of which the physiology I have previously sketched (188), attest the existence, in certain parts of the spinal cord, of self-propelled forces, of prime motors, of Souls finally, acting separately, and as if by virtue of a partial delegation of the powers of the supreme soul.
Inspected Comparative Anatomy (in, in; species, species), — I mean by this denomination to distinguish the science of the anatomical comparison of the different organs of the same body, as opposed to the science of the anatomical comparison of the organisms belonging to the various species, which I will call, by reason of this definition, the Interspecial Comparative Anatomy (inter, between; species, species), - by showing us, by striking comparisons, that each vertebra is an aborted donkey, seems to us indicate that the portion of the spinal cord that corresponds to each vertebra must fulfill the function of a kind of rudimentary brain. We also know that the principle of intelligent motility specific to the abdomen of the Escarbot, which is revealed in the experience that I commented on above (211. 3°), necessarily has its seat on a point of the Cord Sub-intestinal, the spinal cord of insects.

[original in French]
230. La multiplicité des âmes n’est pas un fait particulier à la vie végétative: la vie de relation, en outre de son Aine Capitale, en possède plusieurs autres à titre subalterne dont le nombre et le siège nerveux ne sont eneore que très-imparfaitement eonnus. La contraction normale des muscles involontaires, la eontraetion spasmodique des muscles volontaires, et, surtout, l’importante catégorie des mouvements ineonseientels de la vie de relation, dont j’ai précédemment esquissé la physiologie (188), attestent l’existence, dans certaines parties de la moelle épinière, de forces automotrices, de moteurs premiers, d’Ames enfin, agissant séparément, et comme en vertu d’une délégation partielle des pouvoirs de l’âme suprême.
L’Anatomie Comparée inspécielle (in, dans; species, espèce), — j’entends distinguer par eette dénomination la science de la comparaison anatomique des différents organes d’un même eorps, par opposition à la seienee de la comparaison anatomique des organismes appartenant aux diverses espèces, laquelle j’appellerai, en raison de eette définition, l’Anatomie Comparée interspécielle (inter, entre; species, espèce), — en nous montrant, par des rapprochements frappants, que chaque vertèbre est un erâne avorté, semble nous indiquer que la portion de la moelle épinière qui correspond à chaque vertèbre doit remplir la fonction d’une sorte de cerveau rudimentaire. Nous savons en outre que le principe de la motilité intelligente propre à l’abdomen de l’Esearbot, qui se révèle dans l’expérience que j’ai commentée eidessus (211. 3°), a nécessairement son siège sur un point du Cordon Sous-intestinal, la moelle épinière des Insectes.
Second letter of Great John to his bishop about talking tables, possessions and other devils. Paris, Ledoyen, 1855

(French “Seconde lettre de gros Jean à son évêque au sujet des tables parlantes, des possessions et autres diableries. Paris, Ledoyen, 1855”)
Anonymous
author, probably
Paul de Tascher
1855
Quotes taken from 1889 book of Pierre Janet “Psychological Automatism: Essay of Experimental Psychology on the Lower Forms of Human Activity”
(French “L'automatisme psychologique: essai de psychologie expérimentale sur les formes inférieures de l'activité humaine”).

Excerpt from page 4:
[translation by Google Translate]
Encouraged by the outside world, or fertilizing materials already conquered, our intellectual faculties form ideas or thoughts within us; consciousness or intimate sense gives us knowledge of it; our will or faculty to react to ourselves at the same time provides consciousness with the idea of our personality, the idea of the ego. It remains to establish the link. By this movement of the will on the intelligence that we call attention, the idea or thought is affirmed in its relation with the ego, related, united to it. This is what happens in the normal ordinary state ...

[оригинал на французском языке]
Incitées par le monde extérieur, ou fécondant les matériaux déjà conquis, nos facultés intellectuelles forment en nous des idées ou des pensées; la conscience ou sens intime nous en donne connaissance; notre volonté ou faculté de réagir sur nous-mêmes fournit en même temps à la conscience l’idée de notre personnalité, l’idée du moi. Reste à établir le lien. Par ce mouvement de la volonté sur l’intelligence qu’on appelle l’attention, l’idée ou pensée est affirmée dans sa relation avec le moi, rapportée, unie à lui. Voilà ce qui se passe dans l’état ordinaire normal ...

Excerpt from page 5:
[translation by Google Translate]
Sleep is the period during which the will, the intellectual faculties and the organism, collapsing on themselves, loosening the links which unite them, silently repair the forces exhausted by the work of the day. However, is sleep an absolute state and always the same? Far from it.... sleep and wakefulness constitute only one and the same hierarchy of states which, by successive modifications, on the one hand, descend towards perfect sleep, immobility and almost complete disjunction of the will, of the intelligence and organism, and, on the other hand, rise to the perfect state of wakefulness, the supreme tension of the will, the intellectual faculties and the physical apparatus directed towards a goal ardently pursued, each modification resulting from the different degree of activity and the more or less close relation of the will, the intelligence and the organism each endowed with a certain life of its own ...

[original in French]
Le sommeil, c’est la période pendant laquelle la volonté, les facultés intellectuelles et l’organisme, s’affaissant sur eux-mêmes, relâchant les liens qui les unissent, réparent en silence les forces épuisées par le travail du jour. Le sommeil est-il cependant un état absolu et toujours le même? Loin de là.... sommeil et veille ne constituent qu’une seule et même hiérarchie d’états qui, par modifications successives, d’une part, descendent vers le sommeil parfait, immobilité et disjonction presque complète de la volonté, de l’intelligence et de l’organisme, et, de l’autre, s’élèvent vers l’état parfait de veille, tension suprême de la volonté, des facultés intellectuelles et de l’appareil physique dirigés vers un but ardemment poursuivi, chaque modification résultant du degré différent d’activité et du rapport plus ou moins étroit de la volonté, de l’intelligence et de l’organisme doués chacun d’une certaine vie propre ...

Excerpt from page 7:
[translation by Google Translate]
In certain individuals, for one cause or another, organic life, sensitivity, intelligence are overexcited, exalted, while the will remains in a state of weakness, softness, intermittence. What will then be more natural, simpler, easier to conceive than the momentary and partial rupture of the hierarchical link? The phenomenon which occupies us (the talking tables) is in fact nothing more than this suspension more or less complete, more or less prolonged, of the action of the will on the organism, on the sensitivity, on the intelligence. retaining all their activity, and the various degrees of this disjunction as the different forms it takes, follow each other very naturally ...

[original in French]
Chez certains individus, pour une cause ou pour une autre, la vie organique, la sensibilité, l’intelligence se surexcitent, s’exaltent, pendant que la volonté demeure en un état de faiblesse, de mollesse, d’intermittence. Qu’y aura-t-il alors de plus naturel, de plus simple, de plus facile à concevoir que la rupture momentanée et partielle du lien hiérarchique? Le phénomène qui nous occupe (les tables parlantes) n’est autre chose en effet que cette suspension plus ou moins complète, plus ou moins prolongée, de l’action de la volonté sur l’organisme, sur la sensibilité, sur l’intelligence conservant toute leur activité, et les divers degrés de cette disjonction comme les formes différentes qu’elle revêt, se succèdent fort naturellement les unes aux autres ...

Excerpt from page 9-11:
[translation by Google Translate]
In the experiences of the talking tables, the young girl hears the question and forms the answer in her mind where the knowledge of the mode agreed to translate, by means of the movements of the table, all the possible ideas and thoughts: these are the first elements of the phenomenon: but here are presented several different states or degrees of the same state.

1st Not only is the young girl aware of the response formed in her mind, but she relates it to her own faculties: this is the ordinary psychological situation. But here is what the abnormality consists of, it is that the response is expressed by the movements of the piece of furniture without the intervention of the free and reflected will... The will, the ego is separated only from the apparatus physics which is alone in a situation of independence (this is, as we know, the case of the recording pendulum).

2nd The will having started to split with the intelligence, the young person has only half-knowledge of the answer which is more complete, more extensive or even expressed in other terms; the mind, in short, is in a semi-abnormal situation. The organism, on the contrary, operates under the same conditions as before, directed by intelligence without the intervention of the will (we have seen a few cases of this kind in the study of the willing game).

3rd This degree especially coincides with writing and involuntary speech, but it must also be observed in the phenomenon of talking tables. The young girl knows the answer which forms in her intelligence, but she knows it within herself as if it did not come from her; attention collects it, but without establishing a link between this thought and the self (this degree seems to me to correspond to the possessions and the impulsive follies of which we will speak later).

4th The young girl has no internal knowledge of the response formulated in her intelligence outside of the ego; it is only informed of it as the movements of the table express it: the intellectual division is complete. Dissenting thought at the same time enlarges its domain. Questions are no longer addressed to the table and, on the contrary, it is she who, spontaneously, questions one after another of the people present, tackles such and such a subject, throws herself into such or such order of ideas. distant memories awakened without the young girl being aware of it, romantic inventions, sentimental fantasies, ramblings, everything that intelligence and imagination left to themselves can produce, everything that plays out in our dreams, with this difference that we are witnessing our ordinary dreams and that these, although also formed in us, are however only revealed to us when they are revealed to everyone. This is, at first psychological glance, the phenomenon of the talking table ...


[original in French]
Dans les expériences des tables parlantes, la jeune fille entend la question et forme bien la réponse dans son esprit où doit être préalablement déposée la connaissance du mode convenu pour traduire, au moyen des mouvements de la table, toutes les idées et pensées possibles: tels sont les premiers éléments du phénomène: mais ici se présentent plusieurs états ou degrés différents du même état.

1º Non seulement la jeune fille a conscience de la réponse formée dans son esprit, mais elle la rapporte à ses propres facultés: c’est la situation psychologique ordinaire. Mais voici en quoi consiste l’anormalité, c’est que la réponse est exprimée par les mouvements du meuble sans l’intervention de la volonté libre et réfléchie... La volonté, le moi ne s’est séparé que de l’appareil physique qui se trouve seul dans une situation d’indépendance (c’est, comme nous savons, le cas du pendule enregistreur).

2º La volonté ayant commencé à faire scission avec l’intelligence, la jeune personne n’a qu’une demi-connaissance de la réponse qui est plus complète, plus étendue ou même exprimée en d’autres termes; l’esprit, en un mot, est dans une situation semi anormale. L’organisme au contraire opère dans les mêmes conditions que précédemment, dirigé par l’intelligence sans l’intervention de la volonté (nous avons vu quelques cas de ce genre dans l’étude du willing game).

3º Ce degré coïncide surtout avec l’écriture et la parole involontaire, mais il doit S’observer aussi dans le phénomène des tables parlantes. La jeune fille sait la réponse qui se forme dans son intelligence, mais elle la connaît en elle comme si elle ne venait pas d’elle; l’attention la recueille, mais sans établir de lien entre cette pensée et le moi (ce degré me paraît correspondre aux possessions et aux folies impulsives dont nous parlerons plus loin).

4º La jeune fille n’a aucune connaissance interne de la réponse qui s’est formulée dans son intelligence en dehors du moi; elle n’en est instruite qu’à mesure que les mouvements de la table l’expriment: la division intellectuelle est complète. La pensée dissidente agrandit en même temps son domaine. Il n’est plus adressé de questions à la table et c’est elle au contraire qui, spontanément, interroge l’une après l’autre des personnes présentes, aborde tel ou tel sujet, se jette dans tel ou tel ordre d’idées. souvenirs lointains réveillés sans que la jeune fille en ait conscience, inventions romanesques, fantaisies sentimentales, divagations, tout ce que peuvent produire l’intelligence et l’imagination abandonnées à elles-mêmes, tout ce qui se joue dans nos rêves, avec cette différence que nous assistons à nos rêves ordinaires et que ceux-là, quoique également formés en nous, ne nous sont cependant révélés qu’au moment où ils le sont à tout le monde. Tel est, en premier aperçu psychologique, le phénomène de la table parlante ...

Excerpt from pages 22-23:
[translation by Google Translate]
What does it take for the feather to be replaced by the word that the impulse is communicated to other nerves... This is usually accompanied by a serious disorder of innervation: there is nothing wrong with it? amazing at that. The man whose hand only escapes the action of the will is not taken from himself like the one whose language, speech, this so direct instrument of thought, of the will, is freed from the authority of the ego... In our peaceful medium writings, ordinary thought persists calm, but when the physical crisis assumes a violent character, oh! then the internal division was complete, absolute, persistent; moreover, the second exalted, ardent, unrestrained personality, suffocated the other for a moment annihilated and, under the names of Jupiter or Apollo, alone possessed all the intelligence and the whole organism of the delirious priestess. Deus, ecce Deus ...

[original in French]
Que faut-il pour que la plume soit remplacée par la parole que l’impulsion se communique à d’autres nerfs... Cela est accompagné ordinairement d’un grave désordre de l’innervation: il n’y a rien d’étonnant à cela. L’homme dont la main seulement se dérobe à l’action de la volonté n’est pas enlevé à lui-même comme celui dont la langue, la parole, cet instrument si direct de la pensée, de la volonté, s’affranchit de l’autorité du moi... Chez nos paisibles writings médiums, la pensée ordinaire persiste calme, mais quand la crise physique revêtait un caractère violent, oh! alors la division interne était complète, absolue, persistante; bien plus, la seconde personnalité exaltée, ardente, effrénée, étouffait l’autre pour un moment anéantie et, sous les noms de Jupiter ou d’Apollon, possédait seule toute l’intelligence et tout l’organisme de la prêtresse en délire. Deus, ecce Deus ...

Excerpt from page 44:
[translation by Google Translate]
We have seen in the same individual two simultaneous streams of thought, one which constitutes the ordinary person, the other which takes place outside of him. We are now in the presence of the second person alone (in sleepwalking), the other remaining annihilated in sleep, from which derives this impossibility for the ordinary person to remember anything when he wakes up of what was accomplished during its access. Such is somnambulism or perfect sybillism ...

[original in French]
Nous avons vu dans le même individu deux courants simultanés de pensées, l’un qui constituait la personne ordinaire, l’autre qui se déroulait en dehors d’elle. Nous sommes maintenant en présence de la seconde personne seule (dans le somnambulisme), l’autre restant anéantie dans le sommeil, d’où dérive cette impossibilité pour la personne ordinaire de se rien rappeler à son réveil de ce qui s’est accompli pendant son accès. Tel est le somnambulisme ou sybillisme parfait...

Excerpt from page 43:
[translation by Google Translate]
Talking table, involuntary writing, involuntary speech, medium rapping or knocking, somnambulism, these are the different forms that the phenomenon of intellectual scission takes, which we could perhaps appropriately designate under the name of sybillism, according to its mode of manifestation. the highest and undoubtedly the one who has played the most important role in the world, since, transformed into a public institution, it has been for centuries the basis and the sanction of religions.

[original in French]
Table parlante, écriture involontaire, parole involontaire, rappings ou knockings médiums, somnambulisme, telles sont les différentes formes que revêt le phénomène de scission intellectuelle qu’on pourrait peut-être convenablement désigner sous le nom de sybillisme, d’après son mode de manifestation le plus élevé et celui sans aucun doute qui a joué dans le monde le rôle le plus important, puisque, transformé en institution publique, il a été pendant des siècles la base et la sanction des religions.
Polyzoism or Animal Plurality in Man

(French “Polyzoïsme ou pluralité animale chez l'homme”)

HTML format (OCR)

Bulletins de la Société d'anthropologie de Paris, II° Série. Tome 2, 1867. pp. 600-617.

doi: https://doi.org/10.3406/bmsap.1867.4338
Joseph-Pierre Durand (de Gros)

(Pseudonym: Joseph-Pierre Philips)
1867
Joseph-Pierre Durand de Gros was a French doctor.

Excerpt from pages 602-603:
[translation by Google Translate]
As envisaged by a few scientists in the past, the true organization of invertebrates has been fully exposed by contemporary science. An immense fact, the significance of which was not first grasped, has been revealed; it was recognized that the animal of this category is not a simple and indivisible animal, but a compound, a meeting of distinct animals forming between them a kind of society of vital cooperation, and united to each other, according to the degree of organization of this set, by more or less close solidarity, by a more or less complicated and perfect systematic unity. Do you not see where such a discovery would lead if this surprising law of the organization of invertebrates, polyzoism, was going to spread, to vertebrates and to humans?... What! each of us would no longer be a simple person, but would represent a whole legion of real animated units, real individuals in the physiological and moral sense! Certainly such a novelty would upset the ideas of many, and we can safely say that all the most diverse or most contrary doctrines of which man is the subject, medicine, psychology, ethics, jurisprudence, theology, spiritualism, materialism and positivism, would have, for the first time, only one impulse and only one voice to protest.

[original in French]
Entrevue par quelques anciens, la véritable organisation des invertébrés a été mise pleinement à découvert par la science contemporaine. Un fait immense, dont la portée ne fut pas d’abord saisie, a été révélé; il a été reconnu que l’animal de cette catégorie n’est pas un animal simple et indivisible, mais un composé, une réunion d’animaux distincts formant entre eux une sorte de société de coopération vitale, et unis les uns aux autres, suivant le degré d’organisation de cet ensemble, par une solidarité plus ou moins étroite, par une unité systématique plus ou moins compliquée et parfaite. Ne voyez-vous pas où une pareille découverte mènerait si cette loi surprenante de l’organisation des invertébrés, le polyzoïsme, allait s’étendre, aux vertébrés et à l’homme!... Quoi! chacun de nous ne serait plus une simple personne, mais représenterait toute une légion de véritables unités animées, de véritables individus au sens physiologique et au sens moral? Certes une pareille nouveauté bouleverserait les idées de plusieurs, et l’on peut affirmer sans crainte que toutes les doctrines les plus diverses ou les plus contraires dont l’homme fait le sujet, médecine, psychologie, morale, jurisprudence, théologie, spiritualisme, matérialisme et positivisme, n’auraient, pour la première fois, qu’un même élan et qu’une seule voix pour protester.

Excerpt from page 609:
[translation by Google Translate]
Now let’s consult Dr. Carpenter, the famous professor of physiology at the University of London:
“The brain and the spinal cord of the man,” he says, “in which ends the very great part of the afferent nerves, and from which almost all the motor nerves are born, can be regarded as formed by the agglomeration of a certain number of distinct ganglionic centers, each of which has its own attributions and is attached to nervous trunks which are particular to it. Beginning with the spinal cord, we find, by comparing it to the ganglionic chain of articulated animals, that it really consists of a series of ganglia arranged in a longitudinal line, and which are welded to each other, and each of which constitutes the center of the nervous circuit proper to any vertebral segment of the trunk.” (Manual of human Physiology.)

[original in French]
Consultons maintenant le docteur Carpenter, l’illustre professeur de physiologie de l’Université de Londres:
«Le cerveau et la moelle épinière de l’homme, dit-il, dans laquelle se termine la très-grande partie des nerfs afférents, et de laquelle naissent presque tous les nerfs moteurs, peuvent être considérés comme formés par l’agglomération d’un certain nombre de centres ganglionnaires distincts, dont chacun a ses attributions propres et se rattache à des troncs nerveux qui lui sont particuliers. Commençant par la moelle épinière, nous trouvons, en la comparant à la chaîne ganglionnaire des animaux articulés, qu’elle consiste réellement en une série de ganglions disposés suivant une ligne longitudinale, et qui se sont soudés l’un à l’autre, et dont chacun constitue le centre du circuit nerveux propre à tout segment vertébral du tronc.» (Manual of human Physiology.)

Excerpt from pages 614-615:
[translation by Google Translate]
And, in the present case, if the movements determined by the lower ganglionic centers of a crustacean, or by the spinal centers of an amphibian, have a purely mechanical nature and origin, why therefore the movements due to the impulse of the center are not these animals’ cephalic nerves purely mechanical movements also? The similarity alone testifies to the contrary! Why the whole crayfish, why the frog still in its integrity and moving by the combined impulse of its encephalic center and its spinal centers, why would they not be pure machines, as when they move under the isolated impulse of their secondary nervous centers? In a word, why not go back entirely to “pure automatism of the beasts”? It would be simpler and it would not be more irrational.
Yes, if the automation of so-called reflex movements is a truth, the automation of the whole beast is also a truth; and if the automatism of animals is only a lie, the automatism of the centers of the marrow is also a lie. The two automations are interdependent; both must be rejected or both admitted: there are no alternatives.
Physiology and medicine, psychology and morals have so far agreed to regard man as a living, feeling and thinking unit, entirely compact and irreducible, like, a single and simple animated body; and, on this first and common belief, all their dogmatic and practical institutions were formed. Now, new facts seem to come today to show us that this belief is a mistake; that the human being is, in reality, a collection of organisms, a collection of separate lives and of me, and that his apparent unity is entirely in the harmony of a hierarchical whole whose elements, brought together by close coordination and subordination, nevertheless carry, each in itself, all the essential attributes, all the primitive characters of the individual animal.
Such a principle is doubtless threatening to a whole vast system of established ideas and things; but let us follow it in its consequences, and we will be convinced that, if it comes to destroy, it also comes to build up, and that his work, all of positive truths, is preferable a thousand times over the scaffolding of illusions to which this work will be substituted.

[original in French]
Et, dans l’espèce, si les mouvements déterminés par les centres ganglionnaires inférieurs d’un crustacé, ou par les centres spinaux d’un batracien, ont une nature et une origine purement mécaniques, pourquoi donc les mouvements dus l’impulsion du centre nerveux céphalique de ces animaux ne seraient-ils point des mouvements purement machinaux aussi? L’apparence seule témoigne du contraire! Pourquoi l’écrevisse tout entière, pourquoi la grenouille encore dans son intégrité et se mouvant par l’impulsion combinée de son centre encéphalique et de ses centres spinaux, pourquoi ne seraient-elles pas de pures machines, comme lorsqu’elles se meuvent sous l’impulsion isolée de leurs centres nerveux secondaires? En un mot, pourquoi ne pas revenir tout uniment au «pur automatisme des bêtes» ? Ce serait plus simple et ce ne serait pas plus irrationnel.
Oui, si l’automatisme des mouvements dits réflexes est une vérité, l’automatisme de la bête entière est aussi une vérité; et si l’automatisme des bêtes n’est qu’un mensonge, l’automatisme des centres de la moelle est aussi un mensonge. Les deux automatismes sont solidaires; il faut les rejeter tous deux ou les admettre tous deux: cette alternative est inévitable.
La physiologie et la médecine, la psychologie et la morale se sont accordées jusqu’à ce jour à regarder l’homme comme une unité vivante, sentante et pensante, entièrement compacte et irréductible, comme, un corps animé un et simple; et, sur celte première et commune croyance, toutes leurs institutions dogmatiques et pratiques se sont formées. Or, de nouveaux faits semblent venir aujourd’hui nous démontrer que cette croyance est une erreur; que l’être humain est, en réalité, une collection d’organismes, une collection de vies et de moi distincts, et que son unité apparente est tout entière dans l’harmonie d’un ensemble hiérarchique dont les éléments, rapprochés par une coordination et une subordination étroites, portent néanmoins, chacun en soi, tous les attributs essentiels, tous les caracres primitifs de l’animal individuel.
Un tel principe est sans doute menaçant pour tout un vaste système d’idées et de choses établies; mais suivons-le dans ses conséquences, et nous serons convaincus que, s’il vient détruire, il vient aussi édifier, et que son œuvre, toute de vérités positives, est préférable mille fois à l’échafaudage d’illusions auquel cette œuvre sera substituée.
Philosophy of the Unconscious.
Volume I
Volume II
Volume III

(German “Philosophie des Unbewussten”)
Eduard von Hartmann

(full name: Karl Robert Eduard von Hartmann)
1869

1870
(Zweite vermehrte Ausgabe)

1880
Erster Theil
Zweiter Theil
Dritter Theil

1884
Volume I
Volume II
Volume III
(English translation)

1890
Volume I
Volume II
Volume III
(English translation)

1893
Volume I
Volume II
Volume III
(English translation)

1900
(Zweite wohlfeile Ausgabe)

2010
(English translation)
Karl Robert Eduard von Hartmann was a German philosopher, independent scholar.
Eduard von Hartmann’s main philosophical work is “Philosophy of the Unconscious” (German “Philosophie des Unbewussten”) which was published in 1869.

Hartmann is philosopher and philosophers are incapable to present the material in clear logical way. In his book Hartmann jumps randomly from one topic into another back and forth, sometimes he raises good questions suitable for building of Neurocluster Brain Model, however Hartmann almost never answers any of his raised questions, Hartmann does not provide any model which would explain phenomena under investigation, Hartmann does not provide structure for the material, Hartmann does not provide logical sequence in his ponderings. The book of Hartmann is just philosophical-theoretical pouring from one empty vessel into another.
Nevertheless, the book contains many interesting good biological examples from animal kingdom, which are suitable for building of Neurocluster Brain Model.

Excerpt from Volume I, pages 61-65:
Reflex action disappears and reappears with the external stimulus, but it cannot form a purpose, which it pursues under changed external circumstances with appropriate change of means. E.g., when a decapitated frog, having remained quiet a long time after the operation, suddenly begins to make natatory movements or to hop away, one might be inclined to look upon this as mere physiological reflex action, as result of the irritation of the terminations of the divided nerve by the air. But when the frog in various experiments, the cutaneous irritation and the part affected being the same, overcomes different obstacles in a different way, but equally suited to the purpose; when, having taken a fixed direction, and being turned therefrom, it tries with rare obstinacy constantly to regain it; when it creeps away under a cupboard or into other odd corners, manifestly to seek protection from its persecutors, — there is unmistakable evidence of non-reflectorial acts of will, regarding which even the physiologist Goltz justly concludes from his careful experiments, that there is no avoiding the assumption of an intelligence not confined to the cerebrum, but astricted to various central organs for the exercise of different functions (e.g., to the corpora quadrigemina for the maintenance of equilibrium).
From this example of the decapitated frog and the volition of all invertebrate animals (e.g., insects) it follows that no brain at all is requisite for the exercise of will. Since in the invertebrata the oesophageal ganglia take the place of the brain, we must assume that these also suffice for the act of will, and in the above-mentioned frog cerebellum and spinal cord must have supplied the place of the cerebrum. But we cannot confine the will of invertebrate animals to the oesophageal ganglia; for when the anterior part of one bisected insect continues the act of devouring, and the posterior part of another the act of propagation, when praying crickets with their heads cut off even seek their females for days, find them and copulate, just as if they were unscathed, it is tolerably clear that the will to devour has been an act of the oesophageal ring, but the will to propagate, in these cases at least, an act of other ganglia of the trunk. The like independence of the will in the different ganglia of one and the same animal is observed, when the two halves of a divided earwig, or of an Australian ant, turn against one another, and, under the unmistakable influence of the passion of anger and lust of fighting, contend furiously with their antennæ till exhaustion or death ensues. But we must not limit the activity of the will even to ganglia; for we find voluntary action even in animals of a very low type, where the microscope of the anatomist has discovered no trace either of muscular fibrin or of nerves, but only the fibroin of Mulder (now called protoplasm). Here probably the semifluid slimy substance of the animal, as in the first stages of embryonic development, fulfils in an inferior manner those conditions to which the nerve substance owes its irritability, and special fitness as an instrument of the will, viz., the easy mobility and polarisability of the molecules. Let any one take a glass of water containing a polype, and place it in such a position that a part of the water is illuminated by the sun; the polype will instantly propel itself out of the dark towards the illuminated part of the water. If now a living infusorion be placed therein and it approaches within a few lines of the polype, the latter perceives it — God only knows how — and produces a whirlpool with its arms, in order to draw it within its grasp. On the other hand, should a dead infusorion, a small vegetable organism, or a particle of dust, approach quite as close, it does not trouble itself at all about it. The polype then perceives the animalcule to be living, draws therefrom the inference that it is fit for food, and adopts means to bring it within reach of its mouth. Not seldom also one may see two polypes in bitter conflict over a prize. No one will venture to call a will guided by a sense-perception so fine and so clearly manifested physiological reflection in the ordinary sense of the term, otherwise we should have to term it reflex action when the gardener bends the bough of a tree to reach its fruit. Accordingly, when we see acts of will in animals destitute of nerves, we can certainly not hesitate to recognise the same in ganglia.
This result is also suggested by comparative anatomy, which teaches that the brain is an aggregation of ganglia connected with nerve-fibres, and that the spinal cord in its central grey matter is likewise a series of ganglia which have coalesced. The Articulata are the first to show a weak analogue of the brain in the form of two nodules connected by the oesophageal ring and also of the spinal cord in the so-called ventral cord, the latter containing ganglia united by fibres, each of which answers to a segment and pair of legs. Accordingly physiologists assume as many independent centres in the spinal cord as there are pairs of spinal nerves issuing therefrom. Among the Vertebrata there are fishes, whose brain and spinal cord consist of a number of ganglia, which lie in a row behind one another. The composition of a central organ from several ganglia is positively confirmed by the metamorphosis of insects, when certain ganglia, which are separate in the larva state, appear consolidated at a more advanced stage of development.
These facts may suffice to prove the essential resemblance of brain and ganglia, brain-will and ganglia-will. But now, if the ganglia of lower animals have their independent wills, if the spinal cord of a decapitated frog has its will, why should not the so much more highly organised ganglia and spinal cord of the higher animals and of man also have their will? If in insects the will to devour lies in anterior, the will to procreate in posterior ganglia, why in man should not such a division of labour be likewise provided for his will? Or is it conceivable that the same natural phenomenon should in the less perfect form exhibit effects which are entirely wanting in the more perfect form? Or must we suppose that in man the conduction is so good, that every ganglionic volition is immediately transmitted to the brain and appears in consciousness undistinguishable from the volition generated in the brain? This may, perhaps, be true to a certain extent for the upper parts of the spinal cord, certainly not for all the rest, since the channels of sensation from the hypogastric plexus are almost imperceptible. No other course is left open, then, but to ascribe independent wills to the human ganglia and spinal cord, the manifestations of which it only remains empirically to prove. That in the case of higher animals the muscular movements which effect external actions are more and more under the control of the cerebellum, and consequently centralised, is well known. Facts, therefore, will not be forthcoming here to any great extent; and this is doubtless the reason why hitherto the independence of the ganglionic system in higher animals has been so little recognised by physiologists, although defended by the most recent investigators. Those voluntary acts, on the contrary, which are actually to be ascribed to the ganglia, have been usually regarded as reflex actions, whose stimuli are said to exist in the organism itself, which stimuli accordingly were arbitrarily assumed when they were not assignable. In part these assumptions may be justified; they then belong to the chapter on Reflex Actions. It is not a large part, however, in any case, and, moreover, it cannot do any harm, to consider here even those which are reflex actions proper from the point of view of the Will, since it will be hereafter proved that every reflex action contains an unconscious Will.

Excerpt from Volume I, pages 66-67:
The surest proofs of the independence of the ganglionic system are derived from Bidder’s experiments on frogs. The spinal cord having been completely destroyed, the animals lived often six, sometimes ten weeks (with gradually slackening heart-beat). On destruction of the brain and spinal cord, the medulla oblongata alone being spared (for breathing), they lived six days; when this also was destroyed, the beating of the heart and circulation of the blood could be still observed even on the second day. The frogs whose medulla oblongata had been preserved ate and digested their worms after sixand- twenty days, whilst micturition took place regularly.

Excerpt from Volume I, pages 67-70:
The independence of the spinal cord on the brain is likewise proved by many beautiful physiological experiments. A hen, from which Flourens had removed the entire cerebrum, sat indeed motionless as a rule; but on going to sleep it tucked its head under its wings; on waking, it shook itself and preened its feathers. When pushed, it ran forward in a straight line; when thrown into the air, it flew. It did not eat spontaneously, but only swallowed the food thrust into its bill. Voit repeated these experiments with pigeons. They first fell into a deep sleep, from which they only awoke after a few weeks; then, however, they flew and moved of their own accord, and comported themselves in such a manner as to leave no doubt of the existence of their sensations; only intelligence was lacking, and they did not spontaneously take food. Thus a pigeon, having thrust its beak against a suspended wooden pendulum, caused it to swing for upwards of an hour till Voit’s return, so that the pendent spool over and over again struck its beak. On the other hand, such a brainless pigeon endeavours to evade a hand trying to grasp it, to carefully avoid obstacles in its flight, and can settle cleverly on narrow supports. Rabbits and guinea-pigs, whose cerebrum has been removed, run freely about after the operation; the behaviour of a decapitated frog has been already mentioned. All these movements, as the preening of its feathers by the hen the leaping of rabbits and frogs, take place without noticeable external stimulus, and are so like the same movements in uninjured animals that it is impossible to assume a difference in the underlying principle in the two cases: in the one case as in the other, there is a manifestation of will. Now we know that the higher animal consciousness is conditional on the integrity of the cerebrum (see Chap. ii. C.), and when this is destroyed, it is said these animals are without consciousness, and accordingly act and will unconsciously. But the cerebral consciousness is by no means the sole, but merely the highest consciousness of the animal, the only one which in higher animals and in man attains to self-consciousness, to the ego, therefore also the only one which I can call my consciousness. That, however, the subordinate nerve-centres must also have a consciousness, if of a vaguer description, plainly follows from the continuity of the animal series, and a comparison of the ganglionic consciousness of the Invertebrata with that of the independent ganglia and central parts of the spinal cord of the higher animals.
It is beyond a doubt that a mammal deprived of its brain is always capable of clearer feeling than an uninjured insect, because the consciousness of its spinal cord stands in any case higher than that of the ganglia of the insect. Accordingly this will, which gives evidence of itself in the independent functions of the spinal cord and the ganglia, is by no means to be at once declared to be in itself unconscious; we must rather provisionally assume that for the nerve-centres from which it proceeds it certainly may become more or less clearly conscious. On the other hand, compared with the cerebral consciousness which a man exclusively recognises as his consciousness, it is certainly unconscious, and it is accordingly shown that there exists in us an unconscious will, since these nerve-centres are all contained in our corporeal organism, therefore in us.
It seems requisite to add, in conclusion, a remark with respect to the sense in which the word Will is here taken. We started with understanding by this word a conscious intention, which is the ordinary signification. We have found, however, in the course of our investigation, that in a single individual, but in different nerve-centres, there may exist consciousnesses and wills more or less independent of one another, each of which can at the most be conscious for the nerve-centre through which it is expressed. In saying this, the usual limited meaning of Will is necessarily abandoned; for I must now recognise another will in me than that which has been exerted through my brain, and has thereby become conscious to me. After these limitations of meaning have fallen away, we can no longer avoid understanding by Will the immanent cause of every movement in animals, which is not produced reflectorially. This may also be taken as the sole characteristic and infallible mark of the will of which we are conscious, that it is a cause of preconceived action. It is now seen, that it is somewhat accidental to the will, whether it passes through the cerebral consciousness or not; its essence remains thereby unaffected. What then in the present work is denoted by the word “Will” is no other than the same essential principle in both cases. If, however, it is particularly desired to distinguish the two kinds of will, for conscious will language already offers a term exactly covering this conception — Freewill — whilst the word Will must be retained for the general principle. Will, we know, is the resultant of all contemporaneous desires; if this struggle of desire is consciously waged, it appears as choice of the result, or freewill, whilst the origin of the unconscious will is withdrawn from consciousness, consequently even the semblance of choice among desires cannot here occur. One sees from the existence of this term Freewill, that the idea of a more general will with non-selected content or aim, whose actions thus appear to consciousness not as free, but as inward compulsion, has long been in the popular consciousness.

Excerpt from Volume I, page 78:
We may then regard it as established that every, even the slightest movement, whether due to conscious or unconscious intention, presupposes the unconscious idea of the appropriate central nerve-endings and the unconscious will to stimulate the same. We have accordingly made a great advance beyond the results of the first chapter. There (cf. pp. 68, 69) we only spoke of the relatively unconscious; there the reader was only to be accustomed to the thought that mental processes go on within him (as an indivisible spiritual-corporeal organism) of which his consciousness (i.e., his cerebral consciousness) does not dream; here, however, we have come across mental events which, if they do not attain to consciousness in the brain, cannot certainly be conscious for the other nerve-centres of the organism: we have thus found something unconscious for the entire individual.

Excerpt from Volume I, pages 148-149:
A very remarkable case is the regeneration of the cerebral hemispheres, observed by Voit in a pigeon which had been deprived of its brain. After five months, the intelligence of the animal having manifestly increased during the latter part of that time, a white mass showed itself in the place of the removed cerebral hemispheres. which possessed altogether the appearance and consistency of the white substance of the brain, and which also passed uninterruptedly and imperceptibly into the peduncles of the cerebrum, which had not been removed. Primitive nerve-fibres with double borders were clearly to be seen, also ganglionic cells.

Excerpt from Volume II, page 66:
3. The brain (by which in this section the cerebrum is always alone to be understood) has no direct importance for the organic functions of bodily life. This is proved by the experiments of Flourens, who showed that animals from which the brain had been removed can live and thrive for months and years. Care must certainly be taken that the operation itself and the accompanying loss of blood be not too violent, and does not reduce too much the force of the animal; wherefore the experiment can only perfectly succeed in those animals from which the brain may be removed without too much difficulty, e.g., fowls. From these first three points it may be concluded that the brain, the flower of the organism and the seat of the most vital activity, must have a mental destination, since it has no corporeal one.

Excerpt from Volume II, pages 71-72:
In the above-mentioned experiments of Flourens on fowls with extirpated brains, the animals remained as in deep sleep, sitting on any spot where they were placed; all capability of receiving sense-impressions was completely extinguished, and they had, therefore, to be supported by artificial feeding; on the other hand, the reflex movements proceeding from the spinal cord, e.g., swallowing, flying, running, were preserved. “If one removes the two hemispheres of a mammal by slices, the mental activity sinks the lower the farther the loss of substance has proceeded. When the ventricles of the brain are reached, complete unconsciousness is wont to occur” (Valentin). “What stronger proof of the necessary connection of mind and brain will any one require than that which is afforded by the knife of the anatomist when he cuts away the soul piece by piece?” (Büchner).

Excerpt from Volume II, page 117:
The capability of conduction it is then, in fact, which physically conditions the unity of consciousness, and with which this is proportional. We lay down, then, as a principle: Separate material parts give separate consciousness, a proposition which is as much recommended à priori as the distinct individuals confirm it empirically. As long as the Australian ant is an animal, its fore and after body acts with undivided consciousness; as soon as one has cut it in pieces, the unity of consciousness is abolished, and both parts turn against one another.

Excerpt from Volume II, pages 117-118:
The Siamese twins refused to play draughts with one another, thinking that this would be as if the right hand should play with the left. The negresses coadjunct at the lower part of the back, who allowed themselves to be exhibited at the beginning of 1873 in Berlin, under the name of the two headed nightingale, are said to have sympathetic feelings of their mutual sensations in the lower extremities, i.e., possess a unity of consciousness with respect to a certain sensitive area in spite of the duality of their persons. But if one imagined the union of the brains of two men possible by a bridge as capable of conduction as is that between the two hemispheres of the same brain, a mutual and indivisible consciousness, including the thoughts of both brains, would immediately embrace the hitherto separate consciousnesses of both persons; each would no longer be able to distinguish his own thoughts from those of the other; i.e., they would no longer know themselves as two Egoes, but only as one Ego, as my two cerebral hemispheres also only know themselves as one Ego.

Excerpt from Volume II, page 202:
In lower animals single organs sometimes testify their individuality by releasing themselves from the collective organism, and yet go on living and regularly perform the office for the sake of which they are there; thus, e.g., in several kinds of Cephalopods (Argonauta, Philonexis, Tremoctopus) the males have a hectocotylus, i.e., an arm elaborated into a sexual organ, which performs the pro-creative act by being liberated from the male and penetrating into the female. This hectocotylus was at first regarded as a parasite, afterwards as the rudimentary male of the respective cuttlefish, until it was perceived to be the individualised organ of the male.

Excerpt from Volume II, pages 219-220:
What is essential for us in the Leibnizian doctrine is the aggregation of several monads or individuals into a compound which (as body) is subordinate to a monad or an individual of higher order (as soul).
Ontology and Physiological Psychology; critical studies

(French “Ontologie et Psychologie Physiologique; études critiques”)
Joseph-Pierre Durand (de Gros)

(Pseudonym: Joseph-Pierre Philips)
1871
Joseph-Pierre Durand de Gros was a French doctor.

Excerpt from pages 86-92:
[translation by Google Translate]
The foregoing note having been read to the Medico-Psychological Society (meeting of Nov. 25, 1867), a member, Dr. J. Fournet, criticized it in a very remarkable improvisation of which I believe I must reproduce here main passages:
“... The microscopic discovery of two primitive brain cells, one sensitive, the other volitive, seems to seriously compromise, says M. Durand, the fundamental principle of psychological physiology, that is to say the indivisible unity of human consciousness, hitherto received as an axiom.
“The same brain center, one and the same cell, adds Mr. Durand, authorized psychological unity, the indivisibility of the ego, the conscious ego and the willing ego.
“But as long as these two powers of the soul have their separate seat in two separate cells, “the intrinsic elements of the self are separated by a material interval.”
“Concerned about the” serious embarrassment “that this at least apparent antagonism of anatomy and psychology can cause, Mr. Durand seeks to put an end to it, and he has found two ways: the first, in a radical difference and misunderstood, he says, between the sensory character of the nerves and the sensory character of the central cells: the nerves have only a completely objective sensitivity or of communication with the outside world. The central cells alone have the subjective sensitivity which results from the presence of intimate or psychic power. In other words, the central cells are the seat of psychic properties. This is the expression of our future colleague: nerve fibers are the seat of physiological properties and connections.
“The second way that Mr. Durand has to put an end to the antagonism of anatomy and psychology, and to save the great principle of the unity of the self from the psychic duality which threatens the anatomical duality of sensitive cells and volitive, this second means consists of an intermediate fiber common to the two cells, a fiber that microscopic anatomy has also discovered.
“It is this commissural fiber that would restore the compromised unity of the human soul.
“Here, gentlemen, in textual but abbreviated citations, is Mr. Durand's note.
“It presents to you two equally dangerous doctrines: the first is the anatomical doctrine of the two brain cells, one sensitive, the other volitive, that is to say one feeling and understanding, the other wanting: Celtic doctrine believes to destroy psychology and its great principle of the unity of the soul, that is to say of the self. The second is the doctrine of M. Durand who believes that he is saving psychology and its principle by relegating physiology to the nerves, by establishing psychology in the system of two central cells, and its throne, its center, the seat of the unity of the soul in the commissural fiber which unites the two cells.
“Let us first remark, gentlemen, that these two doctrines, one which claims to annihilate, the other which claims to save psychology, are just as organic and exclusively organic as each other, consequently just as destructive of real psychology.
“With this difference that the first resolutely absorbs the soul and its life in anatomy and physiology, while the other, undecided between these two currents of contrary opinions, in struggle today, believes to reconcile them by bringing together their names in these expressions which I underlined “psychological physiology”, “psychic properties of the brain cells”, and believes to bring them together and make them flow in the same bed, giving them the nerve substance as their common seat: physiology, the nervous substance of the nerves; to psychology, the nerve substance of brain cells and their commissures.
“It seems to me that M. Durand, in trying to save the psychology of Charybdis and Scylla, that is to say of the two cells of modern anatomy, only succeeded in making it sink between Gharybdis and Scylla, on this pitfall which he calls the corner of the two cells. The psychology of M. Durand, like that which I have recently subjected before your eyes to a precise analysis (1), is nothing but physiology.
“For me, gentlemen, I am neither worried nor embarrassed, for real psychology, about discoveries, whatever they are, of the anatomy, for example, of its two brain cells.
“These two cells with their commissures, I suppose they are true, although they are still nothing less than demonstrated. These are, in all cases, only the organs of this being superior to the organism, to the cerebral organism, as to the general organism, of which I have had the honor several times to demonstrate before you. substantial existence, under the name of being psychic (2). I made you see that this being is not anything chimerical, as is claimed today, and that it can be an object of science, and of natural science, and not supernatural, just as well as organic being: for I have shown it to you, drawing from the nature of things the elements of its formation, i being born of a true generation which is called education, nourishing itself like the organic being under the name of instruction; also having its progress, its apogee under the name of moral virility, and even its optional decadences, and the end of its empire in alienation.
“The unity, the indivisibility of this being that everyone calls me, his soul, has its reason for being in the substance that we call spirit, as opposed to matter. Its indivisibility can never consist in matter, in any of the matters of the body, all of them essentially divisible.
“Let this indivisible being and a garlic par excellence in the brain, the more immediate seat of its empire, an anatomical unit corresponding to its psychic unit, as the sovereign of the State has his throne in the capital, I agree; but this is no reason to confuse the throne with the person of the sovereign and to absorb this person and his majesty in the chair where he sits, in the qualities or the defects of his servants, as is done under the expressions of: psychic or volitive cells, psychological physiology, and psychic properties.
“As for this duality of the nervous system in fibers and cells called sensitive, and in fibers and cells called volitive, I presented it to you in its true light, in the speech of September 1867, under the aspect of two servants whom I called: one, information system, the other, expression system: the first, responsible for informing the psychic master of what is happening in our external world and in our body itself, that is, to supply the soul with the elements of its judgments; the second, responsible for expressing the wishes and executing the master's judgments. These are the two fundamental systems of any organism, even of the industrial organism, one afferent, which presents the materials to the owner, the other efferent, which distributes the products of the workshop. They are, in the state, the ministers of the legislative and the executive, perfectly distinct from the person of the sovereign ...”
The objections of my very clever and very sympathetic opponent are based only on a mistake on the meaning of the doctrine which he believed to refute, mistake which can be explained moreover by the laconism of my note. Mr. Fournet heard that I composed a single unit of the two psychic centers represented anatomically by the cells “sensitive” and “volitive”, and that I placed the seat of this unit in the commissural tube.
I have not said, and above all I have heard nothing like it: for me, each nerve cell is the seat of a whole and distinct psychic unit essentially bringing together the two attributes of sensitivity and will; for, in my eyes, the overall physiological unit which we call the organism embraces a multitude of elementary psychic units, a half multitude, corresponding to its innumerable nervous centers. Undoubtedly, Doctor Fournet is far from admitting this principle, which I support under the name of polyzoism, but it would have been more appropriate to fight this doctrine than to lend me opinions of which it is the formal negation.
It is still very wrong that Mr. Fournet reproaches me for identifying the psychic center with the nervous center: what pages have I not written to denounce the enormity of such confusion! without, however, professing, with my distinguished opponent, the present separability of mind and matter, which I regard as another equally serious error.


[original in French]
La note qui précède ayant été lue à la Société médico-psychologique (séance du 25 nov. 1867), un membre, M. le docteur J. Fournet, en fit la critique dans une improvisation très-remarquable dont je crois devoir reproduire ici les principaux passages:
« ... La découverte microscopique de deux cellules cérébrales primitives, l’une sensitive, l’autre volitive, semble compromettre sérieusement, nous dit M. Durand, le principe fondamental de la physiologie psychologique, c’est-à-dire l’indivisible unité de la conscience humaine, reçu jusqu’ici comme axiome.
«Un même centre cérébral, une seule et même cellule, ajoute M. Durand, autorisait l’unité psychologique, l’indivisibilité du moi, du moi conscient et du moi voulant.
«Mais du moment que ces deux pouvoirs de l’âme ont leur siège séparé dans deux cellules distinctes, «les éléments intrinsèques du moi se trouvent séparés par un intervalle matériel.»
«Préoccupé de «l’embarras sérieux» que peut causer cet antagonisme au moins apparent de l’anatomie et de la psychologie, M. Durand cherche à le faire cesser, et il en a trouvé deux moyens: le premier, dans une différence radicale et méconnue, dit-il, entre le caractère sensitif des nerfs et le caractère sensitif des cellules centrales: les nerfs n’ont qu’une sensibilité tout objective ou de communication avec le monde extérieur. Les cellules centrales ont seules la sensibilité subjective qui résulte de la présence du pouvoir intime ou psychique. En d’autres termes, les cellules centrales sont siège des propriétés psychiques. C’est l’expression de notre futur collègue: les fibres nerveuses sont siège de propriétés et de connexions physiologiques.
«Le second moyen qu’a M. Durand de faire cesser l’antagonisme de l’anatomie et de la psychologie, et de sauver le grand principe de l’unité du moi de la dualité psychique dont le menace la dualité anatomique des cellules sensitives et volitives, ce second moyen consiste dans une fibre intermédiaire et commune aux deux cellules, fibre que l’anatomie microscopique au- rail aussi découverte.
«C’est cette fibre commissurale qui rétablirait l’unité compromise de l’âme humaine.
«Voilà, messieurs, en citations textuelles, mais abrégées, la note de M. Durand.
«Elle vous présente deux doctrines également dangereuses: la première est la doctrine anatomique des deux cellules cérébrales, l’une sensitive, l’autre volitive, c’est-à-dire l’une sentant et comprenant, l’autre voulant: celte doctrine croit détruire la psychologie et son grand principe de l’unité de l’âme, c’est-à-dire du moi. La seconde, c’est la doctrine de M. Durand qui croit sauver la psychologie et son principe en reléguant la physiologie dans les nerfs, en établissant la psychologie dans le système de deux cellules centrales, et son trône, son centre, le siège de l’unité de l’âme dans la fibre commissurale qui unit les deux cellules.
«Remarquons d’abord, messieurs, que ces deux doctrines, l’une qui prétend anéantir, l’autre qui prétend sauver la psychologie, sont tout aussi organiciennes et exclusivement organiciennes l’une que l’autre, par conséquent tout aussi destructives de la vraie psychologie.
«Avec cette différence que la première absorbe résolument l’âme et sa vie dans l’anatomie et la physiologie, tandis que l’autre, indécise entre ces deux courants d’opinions contraires, en lutte aujourd’hui, croit les concilier en réunissant leurs noms dans ces expressions que j’ai soulignées «physiologie psychologique», «propriétés psychiques des cellules cérébrales», et croit les réunir et les faire couler dans le même lit, en leur donnant pour siège commun la substance nerveuse: à la physiologie, la substance nerveuse des nerfs; à la psychologie, la substance nerveuse des cellules cérébrales et de leur commissure.
«Il me semble que M. Durand, en voulant sauver la psychologie deCharybde et Scylla, c’est-à-dire des deux cellules de l’anatomie moderne, n’a réussi qu’à la faire sombrer entre Gharybde et Scylla, sur cet écueil qu’il appelle la commissure des deux cellules. La psychologie de M. Durand, comme celle que je soumettais dernièrement sous vos yeux à une analyse précise (1), n’est que de la physiologie.
«Pour moi, messieurs, je ne suis ni inquiet, ni embarrassé, pour la vraie psychologie, des découvertes, quelles qu’elles soient, de l’anatomie, par exemple, de ses deux cellules cérébrales.
«Ces deux cellules avec leur commissure, je les suppose vraies, quoiqu’elles ne soient encore rien moins que démontrées. Ce ne sont là, dans tous les cas, que les organes de cet être supérieur à l’organisme, à l’organisme cérébral comme à l’organisme général, dont j’ai eu l’honneur plusieurs fois de démontrer devant vous l’existence substantielle, sous le nom d'être psychique (2). Je vous ai fait voir que cet être n’a rien de chimérique, comme on le prétend de nos jours, et qu’il peut être objet de science, et de science naturelle, et non surnaturelle, tout aussi bien que l'être organique: car je vous l’ai montré puisant dans la nature des choses les éléments de sa formation, i naissant d’une véritable génération qu’on appelle éducation, se nourrissant comme l’être organique sous le nom d’instruction; ayant aussi ses progrès, son apogée sous le nom de virilité morale, et même ses décadences facultatives, et la fin de son empire dans l'aliénation.
«L’unité, l’indivisibilité de cet être que chacun appelle sou moi, son âme, a sa raison d’être dans la substance que nous appelons esprit, par opposition à la matière. Son indivisibilité ne saurait jamais consister dans la matière, dans aucune des matières du corps, i toutes essentiellement divisibles.
«Que cet être indivisible et un par excellence ail dans le cerveau, siège plus immédiat de son empire, une unité anatomique correspondante à son unité psychique, comme le souverain de l’État a son trône dans la capitale, je le veux bien; mais ce n’est pas une raison de confondre le trône avec la personne du souverain et d’absorber cette personne et sa majesté dans le fauteuil où il siège, dans les qualités ou les défauts de ses serviteurs, comme on le fait sous les expressions de: cellules psychiques ou volitives, de physiologie psychologique, et de propriétés psychiques.
«Quant à cette dualité du système nerveux en fibres et cellules dites sensitives, et en fibres et cellules dites volitives, je vous l’ai présentée sous son vrai jour, dans le discours de septembre 1867, sous l’aspect de deux serviteurs que j’ai appelés: l’un, système de l’information, l’autre, système des expressions: le premier, chargé d’informer le maître psychique de ce qui se passe dans notre monde extérieur et dans notre corps lui-même, c’est-à-dire de fournir à l’âme les éléments de ses jugements; le second, chargé d’exprimer les volontés et d’exécuter les jugements du maître. Ce sont là les deux systèmes fondamentaux de tout organisme, même de l’organisme industriel, l’un afférent, qui présente les matériaux au patron, l’autre efférent, qui répand les produits de l’atelier. Ce sont, dans l’État, les ministres du législatif et de l’exécutif, parfaitement distincts de la personne du souverain...»
Les objections de mon très-habile et bien sympathique contradicteur ont pour unique fondement une méprise sur le sens de la doctrine qu’il a cru réfuter, méprise qui peut s’expliquer du reste par le laconisme de ma note. M. Fournet a entendu que je composais une seule unité des deux centres psychiques représentés anatomiquement par les cellules «sensitive» et «volitive», et que je plaçais le siège de cette unité dans le tube commissural.
Je n’ai dit, et surtout je n’ai entendu dire, rien de pareil: pour moi, chaque cellule nerveuse est le siège d’une unité psychique entière et distincte réunissant essentiellement les deux attributs de sensitivité et de volonté; car, à mes yeux, l’unité physiologique d’ensemble que nous nommons l’organisme embrasse une multitude d'unités psychiques élémentaires, une multitude demi, correspondant à ses innombrables centres nerveux. Sans doute, le docteur Fournet est loin d’admettre ce principe, que je soutiens sous le nom de polyzoïsme, mais il eût été plus à propos de combattre cette doctrine que de me prêter des opinions dont elle est la négation formelle.
C’est encore bien à tort que M. Fournet me reproche d’identifier le centre psychique avec le centre nerveux: que de pages n’ai-je pas écrites pour dénoncer l’énormité d’une telle confusion! sans toutefois professer, avec mon distingué contradicteur, la séparabilité actuelle de l’esprit et de la matière, ce que je regarde comme une autre erreur tout aussi grave.
Materials for the Conclusion on Spiritism

(rus. “Материалы для суждения о спиритизме”)

DjVu format
Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev

(rus. Менделеев Дмитрий Иванович)
1876
Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev is the author of the “periodic table of elements” (Mendeleev’s table).
It is interesting to note that scientists nominated Dmitri Mendeleev for the Nobel Prize in year 1905, 1906 and 1907, however, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences refused to give the Nobel Prize to Mendeleev, and instead of Mendeleev gave prizes to their friends for unimportant minor works, which clearly reveals the rotting and corruption at higher echelons of the academic community.

In 1875, Dmitri Mendeleev established “The Committee for the Investigation of Mediumistic Phenomena” to study spiritualism and related phenomena, which at that time had become fashionable.
The findings of the commission were summarized and published in the book “Materials for the Conclusion on Spiritism”.

Knowing nothing about the work of Mendeleev, in 1986 the authors of the Neurocluster Brain Model noticed one very important pattern in spiritualistic séances. Later it turned out that Mendeleev described this pattern already in 1876: “the speeches of spirits reflect the mind of a medium, which is why the intelligent medium has a different speech than the undeveloped one”.
We completely agree with Mendeleev, who claimed that real scientists should carefully study mediumistic phenomena, instead of ignoring or rejecting these phenomena.
Mendeleev simply collected and (from a materialistic point of view) systematically described all the spiritualistic phenomena that were known at that time. Mendeleev made no attempt to develop any models which would explain the spiritualistic phenomena.

Excerpt from pages 3-5:
А. Учреждение комиссии.
(Из журнала Руск. химического и Физ. Общ. Том VII выпуск 6).
Выписка из протокола очередного собрания Физического общества при Императорском Университете, 6-го Мая 1875 г.

В заседании 6-го мая 1876 г. Д. И. Менделеев предложил составить комиссию для рассмотрения медиумических явлений и это предложение мотивировал следующим образом: «Кажется, пришло время обратить внимание на распространение занятий, так называемыми, спиритическими или медиумическими явлениями как в семейных кружках, так и в среде некоторых ученых. Занятия столоверчением, разговором с невидимыми существами при помощи стуков, опытами уменьшения веса тел и вызовом человеческих фигур при посредстве медиумов — грозят распространением мистицизма, могущего оторвать многих от здравого взгляда на предметы и усилить суеверие, потому что сложилась гипотеза о духах, которые, будто-бы, производят вышеупомянутые явления. Для противодействия распространению неосновательного учения и по ныне бесплодных занятий медиумическими явлениями — их не должно игнорировать, а следует, по моему мнению, точно рассмотреть, т. е. узнать, что в них принадлежит к области всем известных естественных явлений, что к вымыслам и галлюцинации, что к числу постыдных обманов и, наконец, не принадлежит ли что либо к разряду ныне необъяснимых явлений, совершающихся по неизвестным еще законам природы. После такого рассмотрения, явления эти утратят печать таинственности, привлекающей к ним многих, и места для мистицизма не останется даже тогда, когда окажется естественная правильность в некоторых медиумических явлениях, хотя бы и не вполне уясненных. Такое рассмотрение, по моему мнению, однако только тогда может принести действительную пользу, когда сомнительные спиритические явления будут удостоверены и исследованы многими лицами, снабженными приборами, показывающими род совершающихся явлений, измеряющими их напряженность и чрез то проверяющими личные впечатления наблюдателей. Такой способ рассмотрения доступен только ученым обществам. Старые учёные общества, каковы например Академии, искусившиеся над бесплодностью рассмотрения проектов «вечных двигателей» и решений задач «о квадратуре крута» — не берутся за это дело, хотя в свое время такие ученые, как Фараде и Араго, занимались разбором явлений, тождественных со спиритическими. Наше, еще молодое, Физическое Общество принесло бы, но моему мнению, немалую всеобщую услугу, если бы из своей среды образовало особую комиссию для рассмотрения спиритических явлений и, если между ними найдется что либо действительно новое, для его изучения. Тогда, по меньшей мере, отнят был бы у спиритов тот, привлекающий многих адептов, аргумент, что явления эти новиною своею страшат ученых. Постараемся же узнать, есть ли в опытах спиритов что либо указывающее на новую неведомую силу природы, или же все дело столоверчения и тону подобных явлений объясняется, как мы и думаем, давлением рук и других частей тела, а явления фигур — есть простой обман. Спириты, верящие в существование новой, еще неизученной силы, проявляющейся чрез медиумов, вероятно не откажут доставить комиссии возможность видеть, подвергнуть опытам и разоблачению, если обман существует, те явления, которые смущают ныне столь многих. Затратив на такое рассмотрение часть нашего времени, мы сбережем его у многих, увлеченных кажущеюся своеобразностью явлений и смелостью гипотезы, составленной для их объяснения, а публикуя ваши результаты, во всяком случае постараемся положить предел развитию нового суеверия. Если, паче чаяния, и есть в медиумических явлениях что либо новое, оно все-таки реально, подлежит знанию, а не верованию.»
Общество постановило образовать комиссию для рассмотрения медиумических явлений. Выразили желание участвовать в этой комиссии следующие члены: И. И. Боргман, Н. П. Булыгин, Н. А. Гезехус, Н. Г. Егоров, А. С. Еленев, С. И. Ковалевский, К. Д. Краевич, Д. И. Менделеев, Ф. Ф. Петрушевский, П. П. Фан-дер-Флит, А. И. и Хмоловский, Ф. Ф. Эвальд.

Excerpt from pages 311-312:
Публичное чтение о спиритизме Д. Менделеева
15 декабря 1875 г., в аудитории и. Русского технического общества, в здании «Соляного Городка» в С.-Петербурге
<...>
Нельзя обойти молчанием, что для объяснения многих спиритических явлений, а особенно диалогических явлений, сами спириты признают достаточною особую гипотезу «бессознательной церебрации», которой держался Фарадей, разбиравший спиритические явления, и которую удержал и развил особенно Карпентер. Однако она, продолжают спириты, оказывается несостоятельною, признав добросовестно, а не на выбор, верными подтвержденные известными лицами спиритические факты. По мнению спиритов, гипотеза Карпентера не может объяснить поднятия столов на воздух или передвижения предметов без прикосновения, игнорирует чужие наблюдения и вообще не стесняется в критических приемах. Не спириты – многие ученые прибегают иногда для объяснения известных спиритических фактов к гипотезе механических сотрясений, производимых руками; так Шеффлер развивает подобную гипотезу для объяснения движений стола, г-н Квитка прилагает ее и ко многим другим спиритическим явлениям. Иные даже решаются думать, что все дело в обмане, производимом медиумами.

Excerpt from pages 325-326:
Два публичных чтения о спиритизме
24 и 25 апреля 1876 г.
<...>
Гипотеза спиритов состоит в том, что души умерших не перестают существовать, хотя и остаются в форме, лишенной материи. Известные лица с особым развитием органической природы, могут быть посредниками, «медиумами», между остальными присутствующими и этими духами, повсюду находящимися. В спиритическом сеансе от присутствия медиума духи становятся деятельными и производят разного рода физические явления и, между прочим, стуки, ударяя о тот или другой предмет, близкий к медиуму, и отвечая условным образом на вопросы, к ним обращенные. Гипотеза эта не объясняет прямо того, почему в речах духов отражается ум медиума, отчего у интеллектного медиума речь духа иная, чем у неразвитого. Чтобы помирить это наблюдение с мыслью о духах, допускают глубокое влияние медиума на духов: под влиянием глупого медиума и умный дух тупеет, а глупый под влиянием интеллектного медиума становится гораздо более развитым. Дух ребенка или жителя другой планеты может говорить только то, что знакомо или мыслимо медиумам, словом, по гипотезе спиритов, дух становится рабом медиума. Вот эта-то идея, столь сходная с идею гномов и ведьм, чертей и привидений, и послужила главным поводом к распространению и обособлению спиритического учения. Говорят, что в Америке спиритическое учение пошло в ход благодаря некоторой комбинации с женским вопросом. В 50-х годах там этот вопрос времени был уже в значительном развитии. Медиумами же оказались по преимуществу женщины.
Scientific Study on Somnambulism, on the Phenomena It Presents and on Its Therapeutic Action in Certain Nervous Diseases; The Important Role It Plays in Epilepsy, in Hysteria and in So-called Extraordinary Neuroses

(French “Etude scientifique sur le somnambulisme, sur les phénomènes qu'il présente et sur son action thérapeutique dans certaines maladies nerveuses; du rôle important qu'il joue dans l'épilepsie, dans l'hystérie et dans les névroses dites extraordinaires”)
Prosper Despine
1880
Prosper Despine was a French psychiatrist (1812-1892).
Studies on the Unconscious Life of the Mind

(French “Études sur la vie inconsciente de l'esprit”)
Edmond Colsenet

(French: Edmond Eugène Colsenet)
1880
Edmond Colsenet was a French philosopher.
Doctoral thesis of Edmond Colsenet.
Edmond Colsenet presented theory of polypsychism which was based on Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s (1646-1716) concept of a hierarchy of monads.
About the Cerebral Functions: Collected Papers

(German “Ueber die Verrichtungen des Grosshirns: gesammelte Abhandlungen”)
Friedrich Goltz

(full name: Friedrich Leopold Goltz)
1881
Friedrich Leopold Goltz was a German physiologist.

Excerpt from page 118:
I will begin by relating an experiment which I hope will be acclaimed by all true friends of science. I succeeded in observing for 15 months an animal in which I had taken away the whole left hemisphere, <...>

Excerpt from page 130:
We have seen that a dog without a left hemisphere can still move voluntarily all parts of his body and that from all parts of his body, action can be induced which can only be the consequence of conscious sensation. This is incompatible with that construction of centers which assumes that each side of the body can serve only those conscious movements and sensations which concern the opposite half of the body.

Excerpt from page 158:
Finally, as far as Man is concerned, the fact that a dog after an extirpation of a whole hemisphere shows essentially the same personality with only slightly weakened intelligence might make it possible to take out even very large tumors if they are confined to one half of the brain, <...>
Inquiries Into Human Faculty and Its Development



Sir Francis Galton
1883

1907
(Second Edition)

2001
(First electronic edition.
Based on the text in the Everyman Second Edition (with all
cuts from the first edition restored)
Sir Francis Galton was English researcher, geographer, anthropologist, psychologist, statistician, founder of differential psychology and psychometrics, as well as the founder of the doctrine of eugenics, half-cousin of Charles Darwin.

Excerpt from page 169 (1883), 122 (2001):
I do not recollect seeing it remarked that the ordinary phenomena of dreaming seem to show that partial sensitiveness is a normal condition during sleep. They do so because one of the most marked characteristics of the dreamer is the absence of common sense. He accepts wildly incongruous visions without the slightest scepticism. Now common sense consists in the comprehension of a large number of related circumstances, and implies the simultaneous working of many parts of the brain. On the other hand, the brain is known to be imperfectly supplied with blood during sleep, and cannot therefore be at full work. It is probable enough, from hydraulic analogies, that imperfect irrigation would lead to partial irrigation, and therefore to suppression of action in some parts of the brain, and that this is really the case seems to be proved by the absence of common sense during dreams.

Excerpt from page 207 (1883), 148 (2001):
Gradually the darkness is lifted, the silence of the mind is broken, and the spiritual responses are heard in the way so often described by devout men of all religions. This seems to me precisely analogous to the automatic presentation of ordinary ideas to orators and literary men, and to the visions of which I spoke in the chapter on that subject. Dividuality replaces individuality, and one portion of the mind communicates with another portion as with a different person.
The Nature of Mind and Human Automatism
Morton Prince

(full name: Morton Henry Prince)
1885
Morton Prince together with Boris Sidis founded the Journal of Abnormal (and Social) Psychology in 1906.
Morton Prince is also the founder of the American Psychopathological Association, and of the Harvard Psychological Clinic.
Morton Prince was American expert in dissociative disorders, which he also called multiple personality disorder.
He was critical of Freud’s psychoanalysis, as for example, he argued to Putnam that “You are raising a cult not a science”.
Morton Prince was skeptical of paranormal claims and he believed such experiences could be explained psychologically.
Psychological Automatism: Essay of Experimental Psychology on the Lower Forms of Human Activity

Word format (English translation)

PDF format (English translation)

(French “L'automatisme psychologique: essai de psychologie expérimentale sur les formes inférieures de l'activité humaine”)

Word format (French)

PDF format (French)
Pierre Janet
(full name: Pierre Marie Félix Janet)
1889

1898
(Third Edition)

1903
(Fourth Edition)

1910
(Sixth Edition)
Doctorate of Science thesis of Pierre Janet.
Pierre Janet is ranked alongside William James and Wilhelm Wundt as one of the founding fathers of psychology.
Pierre Janet coined the terms “dissociation” and “subconscious”.
Pierre Janet is recognized as one of the founding fathers of psychology, however his doctorate of science thesis “Psychological Automatism” (French: “L'automatisme psychologique”), which was published 1889, still until today was never translated into English. The first public domain translation into English was done by neuroclusterbrain.com in year 2020.The majority of current psychologists have never read Janet’s thesis and they have no idea about the achievements of Pierre Janet in hypnosis area.
Janet worked within the French tradition of scientific investigation that advocated careful observation, not grand theory building.

Carl Gustav Jung studied with Pierre Janet in Paris in 1902 and was much influenced by him, for example equating what he called a “complex” with Janet’s “idée fixe subconsciente”.
Jung’s view of the mind as “consisting of an indefinite, because unknown, number of complexes or fragmentary personalities” built upon what Janet in “Psychological Automatism” called “simultaneous psychological existences”.

This book by Pierre Janet is valuable because Janet collected and systematized many experimental facts about personality dissociation, obtained during hypnosis, and Janet attempted to develop a theoretical model to explain these experimental facts. But a couple of decades later, almost all of Janet’s achievements in the field of hypnosis were forgotten, and when in 1977 Ernest Hilgard in his experiments with hypnosis discovered and published the theory of the “hidden observer”, all psychologists of the time recognized it as a completely new discovery. However, Pierre Janet’s 1889 book describes exactly the same identical experiments with hypnosis which Ernest Hilgard announced in 1977 as a completely new discovery. However in the book of Pierre Janet in 1889 everything is described much more exhaustive, much more detailed and comprehensively better. In other words, Ernest Hilgard was unable to reproduce even the results which Pierre Janet achieved a hundred years ago. The strangest thing is that until now modern psychologists, when they talk about hypnosis, put on a pedestal the substandard works of Ernest Hilgard, and they know absolutely nothing about Pierre Janet’s 1889 book.
The main drawback of Pierre Janet’s book is the poor presentation of the material. Pieces of useful coherent text are alternately mixed with fragments of incoherent irrelevant text, which greatly interferes with the reading of the text. To save the reader’s time, we have selected all the best parts of the text from the book and have put them below. The second drawback of this book is the very poor formatting of the text. When Pierre Janet quotes the works of other authors, these quotes are not divided into separate paragraphs, all text is written in one line, plus quotation marks are placed incorrectly, and so on – as a result, the text is difficult to read, because it takes time to find out where a quote from one author ends and where a quote from another author begins. To save the reader’s time, we have reformatted the text of the excerpts from Pierre Janet’s book, adding additional divisions to new paragraphs in order to make the text easier to read.
The advantage of Pierre Janet’s book is that it contains many references to the work of other authors who have worked in the same field. Thus, from the book of Pierre Janet, we can learn the names of many other researchers who made a great contribution to the creation of prototypes of the Neurocluster Brain Model, but whose names were completely forgotten and about whose achievements modern psychologists know practically nothing.

In 1910 book “Subconscious phenomena” Pierre Janet wrote that in year 1889 he ended the research of Subconscious, and now he admits his incompetency in the area of Subconscious. This means that 1889 book “Psychological Automatism” contains the last summary of Janet’s research.

Ecerpt from book “Subconscious phenomena”, page 55:
You have set me quite a difficult task and one which I hardly feel capable of accomplishing to your entire satisfaction. You ask me to take a stand with regard to the metaphysical theories which are developing today and which seem to have for their point of departure the study of phenomena formerly described by me under the name of the “Subconscious”. These studies, already old, since I published them between the years 1886 and 1889, do not permit me to take part in this serious quarrel; they have a much more restricted and much less ambitious range. While the researches of the present day, whether they have a spiritualistic or a materialistic tendency, attain to the summit of the highest metaphysics, my old studies, very modest as they were, simply endeavored to throw light upon, describe and classify certain phenomena of pathological psychology.

The reason of abandoning the research of Subconscious is explained in “Pierre Janet autobiography”:
http://commons.trincoll.edu/macecourses/pierre-janet-autobiography/

http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Janet/murchison.htm

Pierre Janet autobiography
First published in Murchison, Carl. (Ed.) (1930). History of Psychology in Autobiography (Vol. 1, pp. 123-133).
<...>
These studies have been somewhat forgotten today because of the discredit thrown on observations relative to hysteria since the death of Charcot in 1895. Hysteria patients seemed to disappear because they were now designated by other names. It was said that their tendency toward dissimulation and suggestibility made an examination dangerous and interpretations doubtful. I believe these criticisms to be grossly exaggerated and based on prejudice and misapprehension, and I still am under the illusion that my early works were not in vain and that they have left some definite ideas.


Ecerpt from page 26:
[translation by Google Translate]
In a very interesting chapter, the author lists all the acts performed by a decapitated frog, a newt cut in half, by the sections of the praying mantis, etc., and he constantly shows that these acts perfectly resemble those that the Conscious intelligence in other cases commands by the same devices, but they must be done without consciousness now, because the organ necessary for consciousness has been removed. “This intelligent power manifested by the lower section, cannot derive from a self, from a being feeling itself to be; otherwise there would be two separate beings in this animal: one for the upper section, which can act with intelligence, and the other for the lower section. However, this is not admissible in the current state of science [1].”

[1] Despine. Somnambulisme, 31.

We will answer: why then is this inadmissible? The absolute unity of the self is a metaphysical conclusion, perhaps true, but which must result from the facts and not impose itself on them. You have no other proof of the animal’s consciousness than the intelligent adaptation of its movements. We must see if this intelligent adaptation reveals to us one or two or three consciousnesses and only conclude later on in its unity or division.


[original in French]
Dans un chapitre très intéressant, l’auteur énumère tous les actes accomplis par une grenouille décapitée, un triton coupé en deux, par les tronçons de la mante religieuse, etc., et il montre sans cesse que ces actes ressemblent parfaitement à ceux que l’intelligence consciente commande dans d’autres cas par les mêmes appareils, mais qu’ils doivent être faits sans conscience maintenant, parce que l’organe nécessaire à la conscience a été enlevé.
«Ce pouvoir intelligent manifesté par le tronçon inférieur, ne saurait dériver d’un moi, d’un être se sentant être; autrement il y aurait deux êtres séparés chez cet animal: un pour le tronçon supérieur, lequel peut agir avec intelligence, et l’autre pour le tronçon inférieur. Or, cela n’est pas admissible dans l’état actuel de la science [1].»

[1] Despine. Somnambulisme, 31.

Nous répondrons: pourquoi donc cela est-il inadmissible? L’unité absolue du moi est une conclusion métaphysique, vraie peut-être, mais qui doit résulter des faits et non pas s’imposer à eux. Vous n’avez d’autres preuves de la conscience de l’animal que l’adaptation intelligente de ses mouvements. Il faut voir si cette adaptation intelligente nous révèle chez lui une ou deux ou trois consciences et ne conclure que plus tard à son unité ou à sa division.

Ecerpt from pages 28-30:
[translation by Google Translate]
In reality, we never directly know that a single consciousness, it is ours at the moment when we feel it; all other consciousness is known only by an induction or a supposition. No one can ever demonstrate mathematically that the person speaking to me is not a mechanical doll with articulated language, and the Cartesians reasoned rigorously when saying of an injured dog: “It screams and smells nothing.” In this question of the conscience of others, as in many others, we must stick to likelihood and probability. Now, we ordinarily assume the existence of consciousness from two signs, speech and intelligently coordinated actions. The first sign, the word, is considered the most decisive, and that is right; but it is but a more complex and perfect case of the second, a set of movements more complicated and more intelligently coordinated than the others, and if this first sign leads us to suppose consciousness, the second leads us to the same guess, perhaps with a little less probability. Cataleptics do not speak, this is true, and we will have to come back to this important fact later, but they act intelligently. If I put two kilograms of weight on the outstretched arm of a cataleptic, the muscles of the arm and the muscles of the whole body tighten so that the arm is supporting the weight without flexing. If I put a needle in her hands, the whole movement coordinates in a different way than if I put my hands in prayer. There is adaptation, unity of movement, in short, what is usually taken to be a sign of intelligence.
But, it will be said, coordination, intelligence and even sensitivity can exist without consciousness. “Several very complicated, intelligent acts, reaching a perfectly determined and varied goal according to the circumstances, acts resembling exactly those that the ego commands ... can be automatic [1]” (that is to say here unconscious).

[1] Despine. Psychologie, I, 491.

“Man, Maudsley said, in the same vein, would not be a worse intellectual machine without consciousness than with it [2].”

[2] Herzen. Le cerveau et l’activité cérébrale, 1887, 212.

In short, consciousness is only an accessory, an epiphenomenon, the absence of which disturbs nothing. I do not know why this theory has been attributed to M. Ribot, who, however, with excellent arguments, protested against it [3].

[3] Ribot. Maladies de la personnalité, 16.

I will not try to discuss it, because, I must admit, I hardly understand it; it seems to me intelligible neither from the psychological point of view nor from the physiological point of view. What do we mean when we speak of “reasoning of the marrow and intelligence of the brain [4]”?

[4] Despine. Somnambulisme, 85.

Nothing else except that there is a consciousness other than ours in the marrow or in the brain, because reasoning without consciousness makes absolutely no sense. On the other hand, if we admit that consciousness results from a set of physiological conditions leading to a certain act, we cannot admit that another time this exactly the same set again leading to the same act is given without consciousness. The same conditions would sometimes be causes of consciousness and sometimes not. The fact of consciousness seems to us on the contrary very important in the series of organic phenomena: its presence or its absence, as we will see more and more, considerably modifies things. When we know that a complicated phenomenon, like the movements of anger or the gestures of prayer, can only exist in us with a set of conscious emotions and ideas, we have no right to assume that the exact same gestures occur during catalepsy without being directed and unified by any consciousness. So we will suppose, which is now legitimate at least as a hypothesis, that cataleptic phenomena are psychic phenomena whose nature it remains for us to determine. What is now only a hypothesis will be verified, we believe, more and more by other phenomena of the same kind.


[original in French]
En réalité, nous ne connaissons jamais directement qu’une seule conscience, c’est la nôtre au moment où nous la sentons; toute autre conscience n’est connue que par une induction ou une supposition. Personne ne pourra jamais démontrer mathématiquement que la personne qui me parle n’est pas une poupée mécanique à langage articulé, et les cartésiens raisonnaient rigoureusement en disant d’un chien blessé: «Cela crie et ne sent rien.» Dans cette question de la conscience d’autrui, comme dans bien d’autres, il faut nous en tenir aux vraisemblances et aux probabilités. Or, nous supposons ordinairement l’existence de la conscience d’après deux signes, la parole et les actions intelligemment coordonnées. Le premier signe, la parole, est considéré comme le plus décisif, et cela est juste; mais il n’est qu’un cas plus complexe et plus parfait du second, un ensemble de mouvements plus compliqués et plus intelligemment coordonnés que les autres, et si ce premier signe nous amène à supposer la conscience, le second nous conduit à la même supposition, peut-être avec un peu moins de probabilité. Les cataleptiques ne parlent pas, cela est vrai, et nous aurons plus tard à revenir sur ce fait important, mais ils agissent intelligemment. Si je mets sur le bras étendu d’une cataleptique un poids de deux kilos, les muscles du bras et ceux de tout le corps se tendent pour que le bras supporte le poids sans fléchir. Si je lui mets dans les mains une aiguille, l’ensemble des mouvements se coordonne d’une autre manière que si je mets les mains en prière. Il y a adaptation, unité de mouvement, en un mot, ce que l’on considère ordinairement comme signe de l’intelligence.
Mais, dira-t-on, la coordination, l’intelligence et même la sensibilité peuvent exister sans conscience. «Plusieurs actes fort compliqués, intelligents, atteignant un but parfaitement déterminé et varié suivant les circonstances, actes ressemblant exactement à ceux que le moi commande... peuvent être automatiques [1]» (c’est-à-dire ici inconscients).

[1] Despine. Psychologie, I, 491.

«L’homme, disait Maudsley, dans le même sens, ne serait pas une plus mauvaise machine intellectuelle sans la conscience qu’avec elle[2].»

[2] Herzen. Le cerveau et l’activité cérébrale, 1887, 212.

En un mot, la conscience n’est qu’un accessoire, un épiphénomène dont l’absence ne dérange rien. On a, je ne sais pourquoi, attribué cette théorie à M. Ribot, qui cependant, avec d’excellents arguments, avait protesté contre elle [3].

[3] Ribot. Maladies de la personnalité, 16.

Je n’essayerai pas de la discuter, parce que, je dois l’avouer, je ne la comprends guère; elle ne me parait intelligible ni au point de vue psychologique ni au point de vue physiologique. Que veut-on dire quand on parle «des raisonnements de la moelle et de l’intelligence du cerveau [4]»?

[4] Despine. Somnambulisme, 85.

Rien d’autre chose sinon qu’il y a une autre conscience que la nôtre dans la moelle ou dans le cerveau, car un raisonnement sans conscience n’a absolument aucun sens. D’autre part, si on admet que la conscience résulte d’un ensemble de conditions physiologiques amenant un certain acte, on ne peut pas admettre qu’une autre fois cet ensemble exactement le même amenant encore le même acte soit donné sans la conscience. Les mêmes conditions tantôt seraient causes de la conscience et tantôt n’en seraient pas causes. Le fait de la conscience nous parait au contraire fort important dans la série des phénomènes organiques: sa présence ou son absence, comme on le verra de plus en plus, modifie considérablement les choses. Quand nous savons qu’un phénomène compliqué, comme les mouvements de la colère ou les gestes de la prière, ne peut exister chez nous qu’avec un ensemble d’émotions et d’idées conscientes, nous n’avons pas le droit de supposer que les mêmes gestes exactement se produisent pendant la catalepsie sans être dirigés et unifiés par une conscience quelconque. Aussi supposerons-nous, ce qui est maintenant légitime au moins comme hypothèse, que les phénomènes cataleptiques sont des phénomènes psychiques dont il nous reste à déterminer la nature. Ce qui n’est maintenant qu’une hypothèse se vérifiera, croyons-nous, de plus en plus par les autres phénomènes du même genre.

Ecerpt from pages 36-37:
[translation by Google Translate]
Leibniz, on the contrary, in this profound philosophy, to which all the physical and moral sciences today seem to lead us back, had a completely different conception of consciousness. He admitted an infinite number of degrees and some of these forms seemed to him so inferior to normal thought “that human spirits were like little gods to them [1]”.

[1] Leibniz. Erdm., 125, a.


[original in French]
Leibniz au contraire, dans cette philosophie profonde, à laquelle aujourd’hui toutes les sciences physiques et morales semblent nous ramener, avait une toute autre conception de la conscience. Il admettait un nombre infini de degrés et certaines de ces formes lui semblaient tellement inférieures à la pensée normale «que les esprits humains étaient comme de petits dieux auprès d’elles [1]».

[1] Leibniz. Erdm., 125, a.

Ecerpt from pages 69-71:
[translation by Google Translate]
One of the modern writers who have best known somnambulists, M. Despine, believes he finds in their outward attitude a good distinctive characteristic. Popular belief generally represents sleepwalkers as people who speak with their eyes closed. This belief probably results from this idea, actually quite false, that sleepwalking is sleep: sleepwalkers are repeatedly told that they sleep, hence they conclude that they must have their eyes closed. But if sleepwalkers are allowed to act as they please, many, like Lucie, have their eyes open almost constantly. It was then that Mr. Despine claimed that their gaze always had a very particular and distinctive characteristic. “The eyes”, he said, “are wide open...; the largely dilated pupils remain motionless to the action of the light: the insensible conjunctiva does not feel the need to be lubricated by tears, so the blinking of the eyelids is suppressed or very rare [1].”

[1] Despine. Somnambulisme, 107.

The author is so convinced of the importance of this characteristic that he claims “by the inspection of the eyes to discover the frauds attempted by a false sleepwalker”. I must admit that I would not have such boldness or such conviction.
Doubtless, this gaze sometimes exists, and M. Despine indicates very well under what circumstances, “when the retina is paralyzed”; then, in effect, “this amaurotic gaze bears enough resemblance to that of the individual who is short-sighted enough not to be able to distinguish any of the surrounding objects”. Thus, during catalepsy, when the visual sense is not excited, the eye takes on this characteristic. If a hysteric woman’s eyes are forcibly opened at the onset of sleepwalking, at a time when usually (as there may be exceptions) she cannot see clearly, her eyes will appear amaurotic. But, is it therefore accepted that a sleepwalker always has a paralyzed retina and is always blind? According to a rather old opinion, which Maine de Biran himself maintained, the somnambulist would always behave according to his dreams, according to hallucinations which represent to him objects as he knows them and not according to real visual sensations. This opinion seems to me to be completely incorrect. If sleepwalking is allowed to develop sufficiently, there are subjects who open their eyes on their own, or they can be made to open, checking when they see clearly. It is evidently recognized that a somnambulist is then heading according to the sight of real objects, as one can easily verify by taking him to a place which he does not know. The eyes then no longer have this bizarre aspect, they are quite normal and, even during catalepsy, if an object is fixed, in acts of imitation, for example, we see the eyes move and take a normal appearance. As regards this attitude of the somnambulists, I have had an experience several times which I believe to be decisive. I sent Lucie several times, in the middle of sleepwalking, to speak to strangers who had not been informed and she was always taken for a normal person. Marie can be left sleepwalking in a hospital ward, without other patients suspecting her condition. Without doubt, there are, for me who know them well, some characteristic features and I would not always need to question their sensitivity or their memory to know in what state they are: Marie is paler in somnambulism than in the standby state; Lucie, who has several tics on her face when she is awake, has a calm and regular face in the second state. But these are individual signs and of minimal importance which do not allow to base a scientific distinction.


[original in French]
Un des auteurs modernes qui ont le mieux connu les somnambules, M. Despine, croit trouver dans leur attitude extérieure un bon caractère distinctif. La croyance populaire se représente, en général, les somnambules comme des personnes qui parlent en ayant les yeux fermés. Cette croyance résulte probablement de cette idée, en réalité assez fausse, que le somnambulisme est un sommeil: on répète aux somnambules qu’elles dorment, d’où elles concluent qu’elles doivent avoir les yeux fermés. Mais si on laisse les somnambules agir à leur guise, beaucoup, comme Lucie, ont presque constamment les yeux ouverts. C’est alors que M. Despine prétend que leur regard a toujours un caractère tout particulier et distinctif. «Les yeux, dit-il, sont grandement ouverts...; les pupilles largement dilatées restent immobiles à l’action de la lumière: la conjonctive insensible ne sent pas le besoin d’être lubréfiée par les larmes, aussi le clignotement des paupières est supprimé ou fort rare [1].»

[1] Despine. Somnambulisme, 107.

L’auteur est si convaincu de l’importance de ce caractère qu’il prétend «par l’inspection des yeux découvrir les fraudes tentées par une fausse somnambule». Il faut avouer que je n’aurais pas une pareille hardiesse ni une pareille conviction.
Sans doute, ce regard existe quelquefois, et M. Despine indique très bien dans quelle circonstance, «lorsque la rétine est paralysée»; alors, en effet, «ce regard amaurotique a assez de ressemblance avec celui de l’individu qui est assez myope pour ne pouvoir distinguer aucun des objets environnants». Ainsi, pendant la catalepsie, quand on n’excite pas le sens visuel, l’œil prend ce caractère. Si on ouvre de force les yeux d’une hystérique au début du somnambulisme, à un moment où, d’ordinaire (car il peut y avoir des exceptions) elle ne voit pas clair, ses yeux auront l’aspect amaurotique. Mais, est-il donc admis qu’une somnambule ait toujours la rétine paralysée et soit toujours aveugle? D’après une opinion assez ancienne, que Maine de Biran lui-même a soutenue, le somnambule se conduirait toujours d’après ses rêves, d’après des hallucinations qui lui représentent les objets tels qu’il les connaît et non d’après de véritables sensations visuelles. Cette opinion me paraît complètement inexacte. Si on laisse le somnambulisme se développer suffisamment, il y a des sujets qui ouvrent les yeux d’eux-mêmes, ou bien on peut les leur faire ouvrir, en vérifiant le moment où ils voient clair. On reconnaît évidemment qu’une somnambule se dirige alors d’après la vue des objets réels, comme on peut facilement le vérifier en la menant dans un endroit qu’elle ne connaît pas. Les yeux n’ont plus alors cet aspect bizarre, ils sont tout à fait normaux et, même pendant la catalepsie, si l’on fait fixer un objet, dans les actes par imitation, par exemple, on voit les yeux remuer et prendre une apparence normale. Pour ce qui est de cette attitude des somnambules, j’ai fait plusieurs fois une expérience que je crois décisive. J’ai envoyé plusieurs fois Lucie, en plein somnambulisme, parler à des personnes étrangères qui n’étaient pas prévenues et elle a toujours été prise pour une personne normale. Marie peut être laissée en somnambulisme dans une salle d’hôpital, sans que les autres malades soupçonnent son état. Sans doute, il y a, pour moi qui les connais bien, quelques traits caractéristiques et je n’aurais pas toujours besoin d’interroger leur sensibilité ou leur mémoire pour savoir dans quel état elles se trouvent: Marie est plus pâle en somnambulisme qu’à l’état de veille; Lucie, qui a plusieurs tics au visage quand elle est éveillée, a une figure calme et régulière dans le second état. Mais ce sont des signes individuels et de minime importance qui ne permettent pas de fonder une distinction scientifique.

Ecerpt from page 107:
[translation by Google Translate]
We could easily demonstrate, we believe, that Leonie is visual in the waking state, auditory in ordinary somnambulism where she has hyperexcited hearing, and motor or tactile in state 3.

[original in French]
On pourrait démontrer facilement, croyons-nous, que Léonie est visuelle à l’état de veille, auditive en somnambulisme ordinaire où elle a une ouïe hyperexcitée, et motrice ou tactile en état 3.

Ecerpt from pages 119-120:
[translation by Google Translate]
I have observed the same fact about Léonie, who recounts in the waking state the dreams she had without speaking and can only relate in sleepwalking the dreams during which she stirred and spoke: those – thus already formed a secondary personality and had an independent life. Ether, chloroform or simply alcohol, when they act for the first time, simply disintegrate normal thought, prevent judgments of unity from being formed, and leave only scattered psychological elements in the delirium. But if these poisonings are repeated, these fragments of thought come together and form a new psychological synthesis, with its own memory, similar to a sleepwalking life [1].

[1] See, on the analogies of chloroformic sleep and somnambulism: Baragnon, Magnétisme animal, 295; Despine, Somnambulisme, 81 et 542; Maury, 253.

[original in French]
J’ai observé le même fait sur Léonie, qui raconte à l’état de veille les rêves qu’elle a eus sans parole et ne peut raconter qu’en somnambulisme les rêves pendant lesquels elle s’est remuée et a parlé: ceux-ci formaient donc déjà une personnalité secondaire et avaient une vie indépendante. L’éther, le chloroforme ou simplement l’alcool, quand ils agissent pour la première fois, désagrègent simplement la pensée normale, empêchent les jugements d’unité de se former et ne laissent subsister dans le délire que des éléments psychologiques épars. Mais si ces empoisonnements se répètent, ces fragments de pensée se réunissent et forment une nouvelle synthèse psychologique, avec sa mémoire qui lui est propre, semblable à une vie somnambulique [1].

[1] Voir, sur les analogies du sommeil chloroformique et du somnambulisme: Baragnon, Magnétisme animal, 295; Despine, Somnambulisme, 81 et 542; Maury, 253.

Ecerpt from page 128:
[translation by Google Translate]
Why is Léonie a practicing Catholic in the waking state and a Protestant convinced of sleepwalking? It is quite simply because its first magnetizer was Protestant, one should not seek there other mystery there.

[original in French]
Pourquoi Léonie est-elle catholique pratiquante à l’état de veille et protestante convaincue en somnambulisme? C’est tout simplement parce que son premier magnétiseur était protestant, il ne faut pas chercher là d’autre mystère.

Ecerpt from page 150:
[translation by Google Translate]
3rd Acts or hallucinations, connected with agreed signals. – The place to order the immediate execution of an act, it may be away somehow and connect to an agreed signal.

[original in French]
Actes ou hallucinations, avec points de repère. – Au lieu de commander l’exécution immédiate d’un acte, on peut l’éloigner en quelque sorte et le rattacher à un signal convenu.

Ecerpt from page 160:
[translation by Google Translate]
More interesting studies were made by this means on Mary: I have been able, by bringing her back successively to different periods of her existence, to observe all the various states of sensitivity through which she has passed and the causes of all the modifications. So she is now completely blind in her left eye; and claims to be so since birth. If we bring it back to the age of seven, we find that it is still anesthetic in the left eye; but if we suggest that she be only six years old, we see that she can see well with both eyes, and we can determine the period and the very curious circumstances in which she lost the sensitivity of the left eye. The memory automatically achieved a state of health which the subject believed to have retained no memory.

[original in French]
Des études plus intéressantes furent faites par ce moyen sur Marie: j’ai pu, en la ramenant successivement à différentes périodes de son existence, constater tous les états divers de la sensibilité par lesquels elle a passé et les causes de toutes les modifications. Ainsi elle est maintenant complètement aveugle de l’œil gauche; et prétend être ainsi depuis sa naissance. Si on la ramène à l’âge de sept ans, on constate qu’elle est encore anesthésique de l’œil gauche; mais si on lui suggère de n’avoir que six ans, on s’aperçoit qu’elle voit bien des deux yeux et on peut déterminer l’époque et les circonstances bien curieuses dans lesquelles elle a perdu la sensibilité de l’œil gauche. La mémoire a réalisé automatiquement un état de santé dont le sujet croyait n’avoir conservé aucun souvenir.

Ecerpt from pages 193-194:
[translation by Google Translate]
Spencer even provides us with an excellent, very precise, and very useful term that we will keep: the area or field of consciousness. We know, in fact, what we call the visual field: “it is the entire extent of space from which we can receive a luminous impression, the eye remaining motionless and the gaze fixed” [1].

[1] Dr Chauvel. Précis théorique et pratique de l’examen de l’œil et de la vision, 1883, 69.

Could we not call the same field of consciousness or maximum extent of consciousness, the largest number of simple or relatively simple phenomena that can occur at the same time in the same consciousness, by reserving, as Wundt proposes? [2], the term “point of internal gaze” for that part of the phenomena of consciousness towards which attention is directed?

[2] Wundt. Eléments de psychologie physiologique. Trad. 1886, II, 231.

It would be, I believe, of the utmost importance for experimental psychology to be able to determine, even roughly, the field of consciousness, as one measures the visual field with a campimeter or a perimeter. Wundt is the only one, we believe, who has attempted an experimental determination of this kind [3].

[3] Wundt. Eléments de psychologie physiologique. Trad. 1886, II, 241.

Unfortunately, he uses procedures and reasoning which do not appear to us to be very clear, nor very certain, and he passes very quickly on this difficult question. His conclusion is that “we will be allowed to consider twelve simple representations as the maximum extent of consciousness.” At first glance, and perhaps wrongly, I think this figure must be far too low. The binocular visual field, which is however only a small part of the total field of consciousness, obviously contains many more than twelve simultaneous visual phenomena; consciousness, which also contains the other sensations and their images, must contain much more. But there are a host of questions to be raised here on the very meaning of words, on the idea that we have of a simple representation, which make this problem one of the most delicate in experimental psychology, although it remains in my opinion one of the most important.


[original in French]
Spencer nous fournit même un terme excellent, très précis et très utile que nous conserverons: l’aire ou le champ de la conscience. On sait, en effet, ce que l’on appelle le champ visuel: «c’est toute l’étendue de l’espace d’où nous pouvons recevoir une impression lumineuse, l’œil restant immobile et le regard fixe» [1].

[1] Dr Chauvel. Précis théorique et pratique de l’examen de l’œil et de la vision, 1883, 69.

Ne pourrait-on pas appeler de même champ de la conscience ou étendue maximum de la conscience, le nombre le plus grand de phénomènes simples ou relativement simples qui peuvent se présenter à la fois dans une même conscience, en réservant, comme le propose Wundt [2], le terme de «point de regard interne» pour cette partie des phénomènes de la conscience vers laquelle est dirigée l’attention?

[2] Wundt. Eléments de psychologie physiologique. Trad. 1886, II, 231.

Il serait, je crois, de la plus haute importance pour la psychologie expérimentale de pouvoir déterminer, ne fût-ce que d’une manière approximative, le champ de la conscience, comme on mesure le champ visuel avec un campimètre ou un périmètre. Wundt est le seul, croyons-nous, qui ait essayé une détermination expérimentale de ce genre [3].

[3] Wundt. Eléments de psychologie physiologique. Trad. 1886, II, 241.

Malheureusement, il se sert de procédés et de raisonnements qui ne nous paraissent ni bien clairs, ni bien certains, et il passe très vite sur cette question difficile. Sa conclusion est que «nous serons autorisés à considérer douze représentations simples comme étant l’étendue maximum de la conscience». A première vue, et peut-être à tort, je trouve que ce chiffre doit être beaucoup trop faible. Le champ visuel binoculaire, qui n’est cependant qu’une petite partie du champ total de la conscience, renferme évidemment bien plus de douze phénomènes visuels simultanés; la conscience, qui contient en outre les autres sensations et leurs images, doit en contenir bien davantage. Mais il y a ici une foule de questions à soulever sur le sens même des mots, sur l’idée que l’on se fait d’une représentation simple, qui font de ce problème l’un des plus délicats de la psychologie expérimentale, quoiqu’il reste à mon avis un des plus importants.

Ecerpt from pages 197-198:
[translation by Google Translate]
As all my subjects were already so strongly hysterical and sick in the waking state that they could hardly become more so, I was especially struck by the second feature, the analogy of somnambulism and childhood. The fact has long been noticed; “The beginning of the mensambulance (somnambulism), remarks a magnetizer, the Count de Rédern, is a kind of childhood which requires a real education” [1].

[1] Quoted by Perrier. Journal du magnétisme, 1854, 69.

Among the moderns, MM. Fontan and Ségard have rightly insisted on this feature [2].

[2] Fontan et Ségard. Médecine suggestive, 1887, 55.

Nothing is more curious in fact than to see women of thirty, serious and cold in the waking state, assume, once they are sleepwalking, baby airs, gesticulate, play incessantly, laugh about everything, talk in a lisp, claiming little names like Nichette or Lili, and in reality take on all the paces of very young children. Perhaps, as I have noticed, the return of the muscular sense which predominates in childhood has something to do with this character; but the main thing seems to me to be the formation of a new form of existence without many memories or experiences of its own.


[original in French]
Comme tous mes sujets étaient déjà si fortement hystériques et malades à l’état de veille qu’ils ne pouvaient guère le devenir davantage, j’ai surtout été frappé du deuxièmecaractère, l’analogie du somnambulisme et de l’enfance. Le fait est remarqué depuis longtemps; «le commencement de la mensambulance (somnambulisme), remarque un magnétiseur, le comte de Rédern, est une espèce d’enfance qui exige une véritable éducation» [1].

[1] Cité par Perrier. Journal du magnétisme, 1854, 69.

Parmi les modernes, MM. Fontan et Ségard ont très justement insisté sur ce caractère [2].

[2] Fontan et Ségard. Médecine suggestive, 1887, 55.

Rien n’est plus curieux en effet que de voir des femmes de trente ans, sérieuses et froides à l’état de veille, prendre, une fois en somnambulisme, des airs de bébé, gesticuler, jouer sans cesse, rire à tout propos, parler en zézayant, réclamer des petits noms comme Nichette ou Lili, et en réalité prendre toutes les allures de très jeunes enfants. Peut-être, comme je l’ai remarqué, le retour du sens musculaire qui prédomine pendant l’enfance est-il pour quelque chose dans ce caractère; mais le principal me paraît être la formation d’une nouvelle forme d’existence sans beaucoup de souvenirs ni d’expériences qui lui soient propres.

Ecerpt from pages 203-204:
[translation by Google Translate]
If I dared to make a similar comparison, I would say that cataleptics resemble brainless ducks that M. Ch. Richet kindly showed me in his laboratory. At first glance, the brainless ducks could not be distinguished from the others, they fled, shouting and spreading their wings like their comrades; but when the whole band had come up against a wall, their inferiority broke out; while the ducks with intact brains scattered to the right and to the left, the ducks without brains bumped their beaks against the wall and did not move. This comparison may seem dangerous, because it seems to result in the comparison of acts performed by suggestion of acts performed by intact ducks, that is to say, the behavior of animals. This assimilation does not strike me as too absurd, for intelligent animals too behave according to complex perceptions which allow them to vary their actions and to adapt them to some extent to circumstances.

[original in French]
Si j’osais faire une semblable comparaison, je dirais que les cataleptiques ressemblent à des canards sans cerveau que M. Ch. Richet a eu l’obligeance de me montrer dans son laboratoire. Au premier abord, les canards sans cerveau ne se distinguaient pas des autres, ils fuyaient en criant et en écartant les ailes comme leurs camarades; mais quand toute la bande était arrivée contre un mur, leur infériorité éclatait; tandis que les canards au cerveau intact se dispersaient à droite et à gauche, les canards sans cerveau se heurtaient du bec contre la muraille et ne bougeaient plus. Cette comparaison peut sembler dangereuse, car elle semble avoir pour conséquence le rapprochement des actes opérés par suggestion des actes exécutés par les canards intacts, c’est-à-dire de la conduite des bêtes. Cette assimilation ne me paraît pas trop absurde, car les animaux intelligents se conduisent eux aussi d’après des perceptions complexes qui leur permettent de varier leurs actes et de les adapter dans une certaine mesure aux circonstances.

Ecerpt from pages 212-213:
[translation by Google Translate]
We have lost, as in dreams, the power to direct thoughts; they develop in their own way, and one or the other, the last if not all, arrives at complete execution. In this case the action seems even more irresistible, for it does not run up against the other ideas of consciousness, it comes out of them quite naturally; just as we are not astonished at our own dreams, so hysterics and sleepwalkers are seldom surprised at their own absurdities, for they do not have opposing images in their minds which can serve as a point of comparison. This association of ideas still has, especially in these people, a singular effect that it is necessary to know well; it is often exercised by contrast, and the thought of one thing quickly brings in the idea, then the execution of the absolutely opposite thing; “they want to laugh when they see them cry, say inappropriate words while thinking of being modest, etc.” [1].

[1] Liébault. Du sommeil, 235.

This association by contrast which we have already pointed out exists in a natural way before presenting itself in the experiences of the transference. In short, there is not a single characteristic of the suggested acts which does not find its analogue in the natural conduct of these constantly suggestible individuals.


[original in French]
On a perdu, comme dans le rêve, le pouvoir de diriger les pensées; elles se développent à leur façon, et l’une ou l’autre, la dernière sinon toutes, arrive à l’exécution complète. Dans ce cas l’action semble plus irrésistible encore, car elle ne heurte pas les autres idées de la conscience, elle en sort tout naturellement; de même que nous ne sommes pas étonnés de nos propres rêves, de même les hystériques et les somnambules sont rarement surprises de leurs propres absurdités, car elles n’ont pas dans l’esprit d’images opposées qui leur puissent servir de terme de comparaison. Cette association des idées a encore, surtout chez ces personnes, un effet singulier qu’il est nécessaire de bien connaître; elle s’exerce souvent par contraste, et la pensée d’une chose amène rapidement en elle l’idée, puis l’exécution de la chose absolument contraire; «elles ont envie de rire en voyant pleurer, disent des mots inconvenants en pensant à être pudiques, etc.» [1].

[1] Liébault. Du sommeil, 235.

Cette association par contraste que nous avons déjà signalée existe d’une façon naturelle avant de se présenter dans les expériences du transfert. En un mot, il n’y a pas un seul caractère des actes suggérés qui ne trouve son analogue dans la conduite naturelle de ces individus constamment suggestibles.

Ecerpt from pages 224-228:
[translation by Google Translate]
I. Partial catalepsies

We cannot give at the beginning of our research a clear and general definition of the unconscious acts or supposedly such, it is enough, in order to observe and describe them, to stick to this banal notion: by unconscious act we mean an action having all the characteristics of a psychological fact except one, is that it is always ignored by the very person who performs it at the very moment when it is performed [*].

[*] This chapter and the next contain a number of studies that we have already published in the Revue philosophique under these titles: Les actes inconscients et le dédoublement de la personnalité, 1886, II, 577. L’anesthésie systématisée et la dissociation des phénomènes psychologiques, ibid. 1887, I, 449. Les actes inconscients et la mémoire pendant le somnambulisme, ibid., 1888, I, 238. We take these studies again to complete them and link them to more general theories.

We therefore do not consider as an unconscious act the action which a person forgets immediately after having done it, but which he knew and described while performing it. This act lacks memory and not consciousness, as we have already shown. We will now consider acts of which the subject never shows any conscience. Acts of this kind can be presented in two ways: either the individual, at the time when he performs the act, seems to have no kind of consciousness either of the act or of anything else, he is not speaking and expresses nothing. It is a case analogous to those which we have studied at length in speaking of catalepsy, we will not return to it now. Sometimes, on the contrary, the individual retains a clear awareness of all other psychological phenomena, except for a certain act which he performs without knowing it. The individual then speaks with ease, but other things than his action; we can then verify, and he himself can, that he is entirely ignorant of the action his hands are performing. It is this particular form of unconsciousness that it now seems very important to understand.
Unconscious acts of this kind have long been reported and studied from different points of view. Speculative philosophers were, on this point, forerunners and supported the existence of unconscious phenomena in the human mind, long before actual observations could show them. We know the doctrine of small perceptions or deaf perceptions of Leibniz. “I grant to Cartesians”, he said, “that the soul is still thinking now; but I do not allow her to notice all her thoughts, for our great perceptions and our great appetites which we perceive are made up of an infinity of small perceptions and small inclinations which we cannot perceive. And it is in these insensitive perceptions that the reason for what happens in us is found, just as the reason for what happens in sensitive bodies consists in insensitive movements [1].”

[1] Leibniz. Edition Dutens, II, 214.

And elsewhere: “Thus, it is good to distinguish between the perception which is the inner state of the monad representing external things and the apperception which is the consciousness or the reflected knowledge of this inner state, which is not point given to all souls nor always to the same soul [2].”

[2] Leibniz. Principes de la nature et de la grâce, § 4.

Many philosophers, especially in Germany, repeatedly adopted ideas similar to those of Leibniz; one will find a more complete indication of it than I can give it here in the great treatise by Hartmann on the unconscious, in the introduction to M. Colsenet’s thesis on the same subject and in an article by M. Renouvier devoted to to the discussion of these doctrines [3].

[3] Renouvier. Critique philosophique, 1874, I, 21.

I would only like to point out a very interesting passage from Maine de Biran, where the illustrious French psychologist, on whom we have already relied in treating of catalepsy, still seems to adopt and defend the ideas that we are going to present on the unconscious: “By setting aside what is absolute in Leibniz’s system, we can see that the affections specific to the component monads or sensitive elements can take place without being represented or perceived by the central monad which makes the ego, or the principle of unity [4].”

[4] Maine de Biran. Œuvres inédites, II, 12.

Cabanis, Condillac, Hamilton, more recently Hartmann, Léon Dumont [5], Colsenet [6] and many others have expressed similar ideas.

[5] Léon Dumont. Théorie scientifique de la sensibilité, 102.
[6] Colsenet. La vie inconsciente de l’esprit, 1880.

All these philosophers spoke of unconscious phenomena only in a theoretical way; they have shown that according to their systems, such facts were possible; at most, they have tried to interpret in this sense some facts of daily observation. Those who have tried to establish in an experimental way the existence and the properties of these unknown phenomena are much less numerous and less known. During the ancient epidemics of possessions, the exorcists had many occasions to ascertain these facts; but it is needless to say that they were quite incapable of understanding them. In more recent convulsive epidemics, like that of Saint-Médard, we find more interesting descriptions, like this one by Carré de Montgeron: “It often happens that the mouths of speakers utter a series of words beyond their control, so that they listen to themselves like the assistants and that they only know what they say as they say it [7].”

[7] Carré de Montgeron. Cité par Bérillon. De la dualité cérébrale, 103.

It must be admitted that it is the followers of one of the most curious superstitions of our time, the spiritualists, who, by turning the tables around 1850 and by questioning minds, have drawn the most attention to unconscious phenomena. They have observed and even produced them in all their varieties; but the way they explain them is so strange, their descriptions are so altered by their religious enthusiasm that one cannot take their studies on the unconscious as the starting point of a work. It will be more natural to return to their descriptions when we have observed enough things to be able to understand them and sometimes explain them. But the problem raised by them was studied with more precision in the works of Faraday and Chevreul [8], 1854, who were the first to show the intervention of real unconscious psychological phenomena.

[8] Chevreul. Lettre à M. Ampère sur une close particulière de mouvements musculaires. Revue des Deux-Mondes, 1833. De la baguette divinatoire, du pendule dit explorateur et des tables tournants, au point de vue de l’histoire, de la critique et de la méthode expérimentale. 1854.

These studies were, as we know, continued in the work that M. Ch. Richet recently dedicated to the illustrious centenary [9], and in M. Gley’s research on the same problem [10].

[9] Ch. Richet. Revue philosophique, 1884, II, 653, et Des Mouvements inconscients, dans l’hommage à Chevreul, 1886.
[10] Gley. Société de biologie. Juillet 1884.

Since that time, research has been much more numerous and we will have to take it into account in our work.
Another question, which was raised around 1840, led, by another route, to the study of similar phenomena. Sir Henry Holland argued that the two hemispheres of the human brain were two independent organs, each functioning on its own [11].

[11] See Bastian. Le cerveau, II, 127. – Ribot. Maladies de la personnalité, 114.

Since then, Wigan, Mayo, Laycock, Carpenter, Brown-Séquard, Luys, etc., studied the facts favorable or unfavorable to this hypothesis and noted that, in certain cases, the man seems double, to make, on the one hand, actions he ignores, on the other. Certain studies on hypnotism were directed in this direction, one noted dimidié states affecting only one side of the body; hemilateral catalepsies were studied and suggestions were made to both sides of a subject at the same time, in order to give him simultaneously two thoughts and two expressions [12].

[12] Cullerre. Magnétisme, 286, 296.

We will not dwell much on these phenomena, which seem to us to be linked quite easily to the preceding ones.


[original in French]
I. Les catalepsies partielles

Nous ne pouvons donner au début de nos recherches une définition claire et générale des actes inconscients ou prétendus tels, il suffit, pour les observer et les décrire, de s’en tenir à cette notion banale: on entend par acte inconscient une action ayant tous les caractères d’un fait psychologique sauf un, c’est qu’elle est toujours ignorée par la personne même qui l’exécute au moment même où elle l’exécute [*].

[*] Ce chapitre et le suivant contiennent un certain nombre d’études que nous avons déjà publiées dans la Revue philosophique sous ces titres: Les actes inconscients et le dédoublement de la personnalité, 1886, II, 577. L’anesthésie systématisée et la dissociation des phénomènes psychologiques, ibid. 1887, I, 449. Les actes inconscients et la mémoire pendant le somnambulisme, ibid., 1888, I, 238. Nous reprenons ces études pour les compléter et les rattacher à des théories plus générales.

Nous ne considérons donc pas comme acte inconscient l’action qu’une personne oublie immédiatement après l’avoir faite, mais qu’elle connaissait et décrivait pendant qu’elle l’accomplissait. Cet acte manque de mémoire et non de conscience, comme nous l’avons déjà montré. Nous considérerons maintenant les actes dont le sujet n’accuse jamais aucune conscience. Les actes de cette sorte peuvent se présenter de deux manières: ou bien l’individu, au moment où il exécute l’acte, semble n’avoir aucune espèce de conscience ni de l’acte ni d’autre chose, il ne parle pas et n’exprime rien. C’est un cas analogue à ceux que nous avons longuement étudiés en parlant de la catalepsie, nous n’y reviendrons plus maintenant. Tantôt, au contraire, l’individu conserve la conscience claire de tous les autres phénomènes psychologiques, sauf d’un certain acte qu’il exécute sans le savoir. L’individu parle alors avec facilité, mais d’autres choses que de son action; nous pouvons alors vérifier, et il le peut lui-même, qu’il ignore entièrement l’action que ses mains accomplissent. C’est cette forme d’inconscience particulière qu’il nous semble maintenant très important de bien comprendre.

Des actes inconscients de ce genre ont été depuis longtemps signalés et étudiés à différents points de vue. Les philosophes spéculatifs ont été, sur ce point, des précurseurs et ont soutenu l’existence de phénomènes inconscients dans l’esprit humain, bien avant que des observations réelles aient pu les faire constater. On connaît la doctrine des petites perceptions ou perceptions sourdes de Leibniz. «J’accorde aux cartésiens, dit-il, que l’âme pense toujours actuellement; mais je n’accorde point qu’elle s’aperçoit de toutes ses pensées, car nos grandes perceptions et nos grands appétits dont nous nous apercevons sont composés d’une infinité de petites perceptions et de petites inclinations dont on ne saurait s’apercevoir. Et c’est dans ces perceptions insensibles que se trouve la raison de ce qui se passe en nous, comme la raison de ce qui se passe dans les corps sensibles consiste dans les mouvements insensibles [1].»

[1] Leibniz. Edition Dutens, II, 214.

Et ailleurs: «Ainsi, il est bon de faire distinction entre la perception qui est l’état intérieur de la monade représentant les choses externes et l’aperception qui est la conscience ou la connaissance réfléchie de cet état intérieur, laquelle n’est point donnée à toute les âmes ni toujours à la même âme [2].»

[2] Leibniz. Principes de la nature et de la grâce, § 4.

Beaucoup de philosophes, en Allemagne surtout, reprirent à plusieurs reprises des idées analogues à celles de Leibniz; on en trouvera l’indication plus complète que je ne puis la donner ici dans le grand traité de Hartmann sur l’inconscient, dans l’introduction de la thèse de M. Colsenet sur le même sujet et dans un article de M. Renouvier consacré à la discussion de ces doctrines [3].

[3] Renouvier. Critique philosophique, 1874, I, 21.

Je voudrais seulement signaler un passage très intéressant de Maine de Biran, où l’illustre psychologue français, sur lequel nous nous sommes déjà appuyé en traitant de la catalepsie, semble encore adopter et défendre les idées que nous allons exposer sur l’inconscient: «En écartant ce qu’il y a d’absolu dans le système de Leibniz, on conçoit que les affections propres aux monades composantes ou éléments sensibles peuvent avoir lieu sans être représentées ou aperçues par la monade centrale qui fait le moi, ou le principe d’unité [4].»

[4] Maine de Biran. Œuvres inédites, II, 12.

Cabanis, Condillac, Hamilton, plus récemment Hartmann, Léon Dumont [5], Colsenet [6] et bien d’autres ont exprimé des idées analogues.

[5] Léon Dumont. Théorie scientifique de la sensibilité, 102.
[6] Colsenet. La vie inconsciente de l’esprit, 1880.

Tous ces philosophes n’ont parlé des phénomènes inconscients que d’une manière théorique; ils ont montré que, d’après leurs systèmes. de pareils faits étaient possibles; tout au plus ont-ils essayé d’interpréter dans ce sens quelques faits d’observation journalière. Ceux qui ont cherché à constater d’une manière expérimentale l’existence et les propriétés de ces phénomènes ignorés sont beaucoup moins nombreux et moins connus. Pendant les anciennes épidémies de possessions, les exorcistes eurent bien des fois l’occasion de constater ces faits; mais il est inutile de dire qu’ils étaient bien incapables de les comprendre. Dans les épidémies de convulsionnaires plus récentes, comme celle de Saint-Médard, on trouve des descriptions plus intéressantes, comme celle-ci de Carré de Montgeron: «Il arrive souvent que la bouche des orateurs prononce une suite de paroles indépendantes de leur volonté, en sorte qu’ils s’écoutent eux-mêmes comme les assistants et qu’ils n’ont connaissance de ce qu’ils disent qu’à mesure qu’ils le prononcent [7].»

[7] Carré de Montgeron. Cité par Bérillon. De la dualité cérébrale, 103.

Il faut le reconnaître, ce sont les adeptes d’une des plus curieuses superstitions de notre époque, les spirites, qui, en faisant tourner les tables vers 1850 et en interrogeant les esprits, ont le plus attiré l’attention sur les phénomènes inconscients. Ils les ont observés et même produits dans toutes leurs variétés; mais la façon dont ils les expliquent est si étrange, leurs descriptions sont tellement altérées par leur enthousiasme religieux que l’on ne peut prendre leurs études sur l’inconscient comme le point de départ d’un travail. Il sera plus naturel de revenir à leurs descriptions quand nous aurons observé assez de choses pour pouvoir les comprendre et quelquefois les expliquer. Mais le problème soulevé par eux fut étudié avec plus de précision dans les travaux de Faraday et de Chevreul [8], 1854, qui, les premiers, montrèrent l’intervention de véritables phénomènes psychologiques inconscients.

[8] Chevreul. Lettre à M. Ampère sur une close particulière de mouvements musculaires. Revue des Deux-Mondes, 1833. De la baguette divinatoire, du pendule dit explorateur et des tables tournants, au point de vue de l’histoire, de la critique et de la méthode expérimentale. 1854.

Ces études furent, comme on sait, continuées dans le travail que M. Ch. Richet dédiait récemment à l’illustre centenaire [9], et dans les recherches de M. Gley sur le même problème [10].

[9] Ch. Richet. Revue philosophique, 1884, II, 653, et Des Mouvements inconscients, dans l’hommage à Chevreul, 1886.
[10] Gley. Société de biologie. Juillet 1884.

Depuis cette époque, les recherches furent beaucoup plus nombreuses et nous aurons à en tenir compte dans notre travail.
Une autre question, qui fut soulevée à peu près vers 1840, amena, par une autre voie, à l’étude de phénomènes analogues. Sir Henry Holland soutint que les deux hémisphères du cerveau humain étaient deux organes indépendants fonctionnant chacun pour son propre compte [11].

[11] Voir Bastian. Le cerveau, II, 127. – Ribot. Maladies de la personnalité, 114.

Depuis, Wigan, Mayo, Laycock, Carpenter, Brown-Séquard, Luys, etc., étudièrent les faits favorables ou défavorables à cette hypothèse et constatèrent que, dans certains cas, l’homme semble double, faire, d’une part, des actions qu’il ignore, de l’autre. Certaines études sur l’hypnotisme furent dirigées dans cette voie, on constata des états dimidiés n’affectant qu’un seul côté du corps; on étudia des catalepsies hémilatérales et l’on fit des suggestions à la fois aux deux côtés d’un sujet, afin de lui donner simultanément deux pensées et deux expressions [12].

[12] Cullerre. Magnétisme, 286, 296.

Nous n’insisterons pas beaucoup sur ces phénomènes, qui nous semblent se rattacher assez facilement aux précédents.

Ecerpt from pages 238-239:
[translation by Google Translate]
This woman does not present, like other subjects, a real suggestibility in the waking state. If I address myself directly to her and command her to move, she is surprised, argues, and does not obey. But when she talks to other people, I can manage to speak quietly behind her without her turning around. She no longer hears me, and that’s when she does the commandments well, but without knowing it. I whisper to him to pull out his watch, and his hands do it very slowly; I walk her around, make her put her gloves on and take them off, etc., all of which she wouldn’t do if I commanded her directly when she hears me. It is the same in other states. In her first sleepwalking, Leonie 2, she is so barely suggestible that she always seems to act independently and that, moreover, she boasts of it. In fact, you have to shout very loudly and repeat the same sentence for a long time, when you want to directly make a suggestion. But we can proceed otherwise, let her chat with another person, which distracts her much more than in the waking state, then speak to her very softly and the commands that one does in this way are immediately executed without she notices it [1].

[1] Charpignon had already noticed a similar fact when he said that if a sleepwalker refuses to do an act consciously, he can be made to do it automatically, without his knowing it. Physiologie magnétique, 379.

One day, Léonie 2, quite busy, was chatting with people present and had completely forgotten about me; I whispered to him to make bouquets of flowers to offer them to the people around him. Nothing was curious like seeing her right hand pick up one by one of the imaginary flowers, place them in her left hand, tie them with such a real string and offer them gravely, all without Léonie 2 having suspected it or interrupted his conversation. These same facts do not exist in the second somnambulism, in the state of Leonie 3 because, as we will study it further on, she can only hear me and can therefore no longer be distracted.


[original in French]
Cette femme ne présente pas, comme d’autres sujets, une véritable suggestibilité à l’état de veille. Si je m’adresse directement à elle et lui commande un mouvement, elle s’étonne, discute, et n’obéit pas. Mais quand elle parle à d’autres personnes, je puis réussir à parler bas derrière elle sans qu’elle se retourne. Elle ne m’entend plus, et c’est alors qu’elle exécute bien les commandements, mais sans le savoir. Je lui dis tout bas de tirer sa montre, et les mains le font tout doucement; je la fais marcher, je lui fais mettre ses gants et les retirer, etc., toutes choses qu’elle n’exécuterait pas si je les lui commandais directement quand elle m’entend. Il en est de même dans d’autres états. Dans son premier somnambulisme, état de Léonie 2, elle est si peu suggestible qu’elle paraît toujours agir avec indépendance et que d’ailleurs elle s’en vante. En fait, il faut crier très fort et répéter longtemps la même phrase, quand on veut lui faire directement une suggestion. Mais on peut procéder autrement, la laisser causer avec une autre personne, ce qui la distrait beaucoup plus encore qu’à l’état de veille, puis lui parler tout doucement et les commandements que l’on fait ainsi sont immédiatement exécutés sans qu’elle s’en aperçoive [1].

[1] Charpignon avait déjà remarqué un fait analogue quand il dit que, si un somnambule refuse de faire un acte consciemment, on peut le lui faire exécuter automatiquement, sans qu’il le sache. Physiologie magnétique, 379.

Un jour, Léonie 2, tout affairée, causait avec des personnes présentes et m’avait complètement oublié; je lui commandai tout bas de faire des bouquets de fleurs pour les offrir aux personnes qui l’entouraient. Rien n’était curieux comme de voir sa main droite ramasser une à une des fleurs imaginaires, les déposer dans la main gauche, les lier avec une ficelle aussi réelle et les offrir gravement, le tout sans que Léonie 2 s’en fût doutée ou ait interrompu sa conversation. Ces mêmes faits n’existent pas dans le deuxième somnambulisme, en l’état de Léonie 3 car, ainsi que nous l’étudierons plus loin, elle n’entend plus que moi et ne peut plus par conséquent être distraite.

Ecerpt from pages 241-249
[translation by Google Translate]
M. Ch. Richet has already pointed out this way in which a hallucination could be carried out and pointed out how curious the phenomenon was. He gives a glass of water to a person suggesting that the water is bitter, this person makes by drinking all kinds of faces: when questioned and asked if the water is bitter and bad: “No”, she said, “the water isn’t bitter and yet I can’t help but make faces as if it is bitter.” The same subject who was told there was a snake in front of him recoils with gestures of terror, while saying that he sees nothing in front of him [1].

[1] Ch. Richet. Revue philosophique, 1886, II, 326.

This is exactly the way things are done with Lucie: if I tell her quietly (always by the same distraction process and not by direct suggestion which would have another result) that there is a butterfly in front of her, here she is, following him with her eyes, making gestures to catch him, etc., while talking about something else, and, saying, if you question her, that she sees nothing. This is an identical phenomenon to the previous ones, things happened the same when Léonie picked flowers without knowing it.
But quite often, and with most other matters, things turn out differently. The command is not heard by the subject, the origin of the hallucination is unconscious, but the hallucination itself is conscious and suddenly enters the subject’s mind. So, while Léonie is not listening to me, I tell her in a whisper that the person she is talking to has a frock coat of the most beautiful green. Léonie seems to have heard nothing and is still chatting with this person, then she stops and bursts out laughing: “Oh! my God, how did you dress like that, and to say that I hadn’t noticed it yet.” I tell her in a low voice that she has a piece of candy in her mouth; she seems to have heard nothing and, if I question her, she does not know what I said, but here she is now making faces and shouting: “Ah! Who is it that put this in my mouth?” What seems to me the most singular is that, if I speak directly about this subject (which is not directly suggestible), and if I command him to hallucinate in this way, he will resist me, say that it is absurd and in reality will not experience the hallucination, unless I insist very hard. Whereas, if I give the command by distraction, Leonie will not know if I am ordering something from her, will not resist me, and will nevertheless immediately experience the commanded hallucination. This phenomenon is very complex, it includes a mixture of unconscious facts and conscious facts related to a certain point of view and yet separated to another. We have thought it necessary to point out here its existence so as not to leave a serious gap in the enumeration of the suggestions by distraction, but we do not believe that we can show various other examples of them and discuss them before having completed other studies; we will resume their examination later.
Let us return to the phenomena which are uniquely and completely subconscious: an easy characteristic to observe is the intelligence which can manifest itself in such facts separated from the normal mind of the subject.
We are no longer in the presence of a partial catalepsy in which the acts are simply determined by a sensation or an image; rather we are, as we will see, in the presence of a partial somnambulism, where the actions are determined by intelligent perceptions. The subject does not repeat the words, he interprets them and performs them; So there is intelligence there which is fairly easy to manifest in different ways.
So I order Leonie to raise her arm, not immediately, but when I have clapped my hands ten times. I clap my hands, and on the tenth knock, my arm is raised. All this was unknown to her, the command, the sound of blows in my hands, and the act itself: there is obviously a phenomenon of unconscious numeration here. But these unconscious calculations, having been studied more fully in connection with another problem, we will postpone their study a little. I give Léonie another intelligent suggestion as well, that of answering my questions by a sign, not by mouth (which is possible, but what interrupts normal conversation), but by a wave of the hand; you will shake my hand to say “yes”, and you will shake my hand to say “no”. I take her left hand which is anesthetic, she does not notice it and talks with other people. Then I also chat with her, but without her seeming to hear me: her hand alone hears me and answers me with small movements very clear and very well suited to the questions.
Let’s go further, if we don’t want to make her speak without her knowing it, we can at least make her write; I put a pencil in his right hand and his hand grips the pencil, as we know; but instead of pointing her hand and having her draw a letter which she will repeat over and over again, I ask a question: “How old are you? In which city are we here?... etc.”, And here is the hand which shakes and writes the answer on the paper, without, during this time, Léonie having stopped talking about other things. I made him do some arithmetic operations in writing, which were quite correct; I made him write fairly long answers which evidently manifested a fairly developed intelligence.
This kind of writing is known under the name of automatic writing, a fairly correct expression if one means that it is the result of the regular development of certain psychological phenomena, but by which one should not understand, I believe, that this writing is not accompanied by any kind of consciousness. M. Taine, in the preface to his work on Intelligence, shows very well the possibility and the interest of this singular phenomenon: “The more bizarre a fact, the more instructive it is. In this regard, the spiritualist manifestations themselves put us on the path to these discoveries, by showing us the coexistence at the same moment, in the same individual, of two thoughts, of two wills, of two distinct actions, one of which he is aware, the other of whom he is not aware and which he attributes to invisible beings... There is a person who, while chatting, singing, writing without looking at his paper, followed sentences and even whole pages, without being aware of what she is writing. In my eyes, his sincerity is perfect; however, she declares that at the end of her page, she has no idea what she has drawn on the paper. When she reads it, she is astonished, sometimes alarmed... Certainly we see here a duplication of the ego, the simultaneous presence of two series of parallel and independent ideas, of two centers of action, or, if one wants, two legal persons juxtaposed in the same brain; each has a work, and a different work, one on stage and one behind the scenes [2].”

[2] Taine. De l’intelligence. Préface, I, 16.

Distraction already played a considerable part in the ordinary consciously executed suggestions which we studied in the preceding chapter; but then it only concerned the antagonistic ideas and left the consciousness of the suggested act itself. We have just seen that distraction gives rise to another kind of suggestion; while the distracted consciousness is occupied with indifferent ideas, the suggested act is also performed but without the knowledge of the subject. In a nutshell, the distraction seems to split the field of consciousness into two parts: one that remains conscious, the other that seems ignored by the subject. The suggestions previously studied gave rise to phenomena belonging to the first part of the field of consciousness; those which we now point out determine actions which seem to remain in the second and which completely retain the appearance of partial and unconscious catalepsies. Before explaining these facts further, we must see them in other aspects and in other circumstances.

III. The posthynoptic suggestions. History and description

The persistence of the commandments beyond sleepwalking and their execution after returning to normal were phenomena so well known to ancient magnetizers that their description can still be considered accurate today. “The magnetizer”, says Deleuze, “can, after having agreed with them, imprint on them during sleepwalking an idea or a will which will determine them in the waking state, without their knowing the cause. So the magnetizer will say to the somnambulist: “You will go home at such and such an hour; you will not go to the show this evening, you will cover yourself in such a way; you will have no difficulty in taking such and such a remedy; you will not take liquors, no coffee; you will no longer be concerned with such an object; you will drive away such fear, you will forget such and such thing, etc.” The somnambulist will naturally be inclined to do what has been prescribed to him; he will remember it without realizing that it is a memory; he will have attraction for what you have advised him, distance for what you have forbidden him [3]...”

[3] Deleuze. Instruction pratique, 1825, 118.

However this author, who knew so well the power of suggestions after awakening, does not seem to recognize that there is a phenomenon of the same kind in the action of his magnetized water which “sometimes purges and sometimes constipates according to need [4]”, and which “retains its power for five years”.

[4] Deleuze, Histoire critique, I, 125. Instruction, 65.

Bertrand better understands the role of post-hypnotic suggestion in these phenomena, and he uses it to produce all the effects attributed to magnetism. He describes, one of the first, this very curious experiment which consists in ordering a subject during his sleep to return on such and such a day at such an hour. “It will not be necessary”, he adds, “to have him remember his promise (when he is awake) for him to carry it out; and, at the appointed moment, the desire to do what he wills in sleepwalking will spontaneously arise in him without his being able to realize the motive which drives him [5].”

[5] Bertrand. Traité du somnambulisme, 1823, 199.

Since, from this time (1823), the post-hypnotic suggestion was thus known and used, it is not surprising that all the later writers give us very clear and very curious examples of this phenomenon. Teste, who did not have the same scruples as Deleuze, made real experiments and ordered his subjects to light a fire the next day, to embroider for an hour, etc. [6].

[6] Teste, Magnétisme expliqué, 1845, 341.

He even proposes, with as much conviction as some hypnotists today, “to regulate thereby the moral and physical life of the subjects who are put to sleep and to work for their moral improvement [7]”.

[7] Id. Ibid., 435.

In the same way, moreover, Aubin Gauthier succeeds, he says, in changing the feelings of a young girl and reconciling her by suggestion with her mother: the touching scene he aptly describes is quite singular [8].

[8] A. Gauthier, Histoire, II, 361.

Charpignon is more precise in his experiments; he notices that a complex hallucination suggested in this way (that of having received a wallet as a gift) persists two days after waking up [9], and he demonstrates the role of suggestion in the sleep induced by sending magnetized tokens, showing that sleep also occurs if the tokens have not been magnetized and if the subject has simply been warned for sleepwalking previous they would be [10].

[9] Charpignon, Physiologie du magnétisme, 82.
[10] Id. Ibid., 94, 362.

The Journal of magnetism (Journal du magnétisme) of Dupotet naturally contains a large number of cases of this kind; I noticed an interesting experiment on the sleep induced at the appointed time [11]; but I believe that it is better to quote entirely the summary, given by an interesting magnetizer who deserves to be better known, of the phenomena of hallucinations on awakening by post-hypnotic suggestion.

[11] Journal du magnétisme, 1855, 181.

“It is often easy”, writes Dr. A. Perrier [12], “to induce this kind of neurosis (hallucination) at will in somnambulists and to prolong it even when they wake up. We made them see people who were absent or dead for a long time as we liked; they brought back to their drinks or their food the taste which we had pleased to give them; their sense of smell showed the sensation of the most varied perfumes which really only existed in our imagination. We now have a somnambulist, in whom the most perfect insensitivity and the illusion of taste persist for several hours on his return to normal life. Before waking her up, we emit some will, and when she wakes up, she experiences all the hallucinations of the senses that we have imposed on her. An individual present remains for her perfectly invisible, she sees another whose voice she does not hear; a third pinches her and she doesn’t feel it. Liquids have the flavor we want in his mouth; hearing perceives the most variable sounds. His perceptions are transfigured like the images of our thoughts... etc.”

[12] A. Perrier, Recherches médico-magnétiques. – Journal du magnétisme, 1854, 76.

It is difficult to give a more complete summary of all hallucinations, even those which have been more recently referred to as negative hallucinations, which may be produced by suggestion. Liébault, in 1860, speaks of suggestions for 52 days and studies their execution [13].

[13] Liébault, Du sommeil, 153.

However, such was, at that time, the puerile contempt which one affected for animal magnetism that all these psychological descriptions were completely forgotten and one really believed in a very recent discovery when M. Ch. Richet [14] in 1875 published his observations on some suggestions made after the awakening.

[14] Ch. Richet. L’homme et l’intelligence, 251.

It was hard to believe that a woman, having forgotten everything she had been told during sleepwalking, could nevertheless come back after eight days at the appointed time without knowing why. But, in 1823, Bertrand already considered this experience to be banal. It must be recognized that M. Richet’s descriptions were more successful than those of Bertrand. They were able to convince more people and, since, the study of the suggestion carried out after the awakening was made by a large number of observers who found one after another all the facts which the ancients had seen. We will not repeat the description of this phenomenon which is now well known: the preceding quotations can take the place of a general description; we will only insist on the details, which will make us better understand the functioning of the mind in these singular operations.
Let us first notice that this persistence of an idea, despite the passage from one state to another, also occurs outside of hypnotism. “Usually”, says Moreau (from Tours) [15], “dreams stop with sleep, sometimes they persist in waking... An individual dreams that he can fly in the air; awake, he feels the need to try it by jumping a ditch.”

[15] Moreau (de Tours). Le haschich, 252.

“Another dreamed of his father who died and sees the ghost of it, he continues to see it in the half-alarm clock and even a little during the day before [16].”

[16] Id. Ibid., 230.

“The delirium of many insane takes its starting point in the dreams of their sleep [17].”

[17] Id. Ibid., 261.

Nervous crises and ecstatic states show us phenomena of the same kind. M. Fontaine, one of the convulsants of Saint-Médard, announces, during a crisis, that, all the rest of Lent, he will take only one meal a day and that he will take it with bread and water; after his seizures he remembers nothing and yet he is forced to fast and fulfill his prescription [18].

[18] Gasparin. Tables tournantes, II, 62. – Regnard. De la sorcellerie, 178.

Liébault [19] speaks of a patient who dreams that he has become dumb and who on waking has really lost his speech.

[19] Liébault. Revue hypnotique, I, 145, et Le Sommeil, 157.

Along the same lines, let us quote the ingenious process of a lover who obtained permission to approach his beauty while she was asleep and whisper his own name in her ear. This young person later had a lot of affection for him by a sort of recurring dream [20].

[20] Proceed. S. P. R., 1882, 287.

Finally, M. Charcot quotes a hysteric who, after a crisis in which he believes he has been bitten by animals, examines his arms to look for traces of the bites he believes he has suffered [21], and Maudsley speaks of a doctor who believed he owned a white horse he had dreamed of during the delirium of typhoid fever [22].

[21] Charcot, Maladies du syst. nerv., III, 262.
[22] Maudsley, Pathologie de l’esprit, 219.

All these phenomena are obviously identical to those which occur after hypnotic sleep, but they are neither so clear nor so accessible to the experiment.



[original in French]
M. Ch. Richet a déjà signalé cette façon dont une hallucination pouvait se réaliser et a fait remarquer combien le phénomène était curieux. Il donne un verre d’eau à une personne en lui suggérant que l’eau est amère, cette personne fait en buvant toutes sortes de grimaces: quand on l’interroge et qu’on lui demande si l’eau est amère et mauvaise: «Mais non, dit-elle, l’eau n’est pas amère et cependant je ne puis m’empêcher de faire des grimaces comme si c’était amer.» Le même sujet à qui on a dit qu’il y avait un serpent devant lui recule avec des gestes de terreur, tout en disant qu’il ne voit rien devant lui [1].

[1] Ch. Richet. Revue philosophique, 1886, II, 326.

C’est tout à fait de cette façon que les choses se passent avec Lucie: si je lui dis tout bas (toujours par le même procédé de la distraction et non par suggestion directe qui aurait un autre résultat) qu’il y a un papillon devant elle, la voici qui le suit des yeux, fait des gestes pour l’attraper, etc., tout en parlant d’autre chose, et, en disant, si on l’interroge, qu’elle ne voit rien. C’est là un phénomène identique aux précédents, les choses se passaient de même quand Léonie cueillait des fleurs sans le savoir.
Mais bien souvent, et avec la plupart des autres sujets, les choses se passent autrement. Le commandement n’est pas entendu par le sujet, l’origine de l’hallucination est inconsciente, mais l’hallucination elle-même est consciente et entre tout d’un coup dans l’esprit du sujet. Ainsi, pendant que Léonie ne m’écoute pas, je lui dis tout bas que la personne à qui elle parle a une redingote du plus beau vert. Léonie semble n’avoir rien entendu et cause encore avec cette personne, puis elle s’interrompt et éclate de rire: «Oh! mon Dieu, comment vous êtes-vous habillé ainsi, et dire que je ne m’en étais pas encore aperçue.» Je lui dis de même tout bas qu’elle a un bonbon dans la bouche; elle semble bien n’avoir rien entendu et, si je l’interroge, elle ne sait ce que j’ai dit, mais la voici maintenant qui fait des grimaces et qui s’écrie: «Ah! qui est-ce qui m’a donc mis cela dans la bouche?» Ce qui me paraît le plus singulier, c’est que, si je parle directement à ce sujet (qui est peu suggestible directement), et si je lui commande une hallucination de la sorte, il va me résister, dire que c’est absurde et en réalité n’éprouvera pas l’hallucination, à moins que je n’insiste très fort. Tandis que, si je fais le commandement par distraction, Léonie ne saura pas si je lui commande quelque chose, ne me résistera pas, et éprouvera tout de suite cependant l’hallucination commandée. Ce phénomène est fort complexe, il comprend un mélange de faits inconscients et de faits conscients reliés à un certain point de vue et cependant séparés à un autre. Nous avons cru nécessaire de signaler ici son existence pour ne pas laisser une lacune grave dans l’énumération des suggestions par distraction, mais nous ne croyons pas pouvoir en montrer d’autres exemples variés et les discuter avant d’avoir terminé d’autres études; nous reprendrons plus tard leur examen.
Revenons aux phénomènes qui sont uniquement et complètement subconscients: un caractère facile à constater c’est l’intelligence qui peut se manifester dans de pareils faits séparés de l’esprit normal du sujet.
Nous ne sommes plus en présence d’une catalepsie partielle où les actes sont simplement déterminés par une sensation ou une image; nous sommes plutôt, comme nous le verrons, en présence d’un somnambulisme partiel, où les actes sont déterminés par des perceptions intelligentes. Le sujet ne répète pas les paroles, il les interprète et les exécute; il y a donc là de l’intelligence qu’il assez facile de manifester de différentes manières.
Ainsi je commande à Léonie de lever le bras, non pas immédiatement, mais quand j’aurai frappé dix fois dans mes mains. Je frappe dans mes mains, et, au dixième coup, le bras se lève. Tout cela a été pour elle inconnu, le commandement, le bruit des coups dans mes mains, et l’acte lui-même: il y a ici évidemment un phénomène de numération inconsciente. Mais ces calculs inconscients, ayant été étudiés plus complètement à propos d’un autre problème, nous remettrons un peu leur étude. Je donne à Léonie une autre suggestion intelligente également, celle de répondre à mes questions par un signe, non pas de la bouche (ce qui est possible, mais ce qui interrompt la conversation normale), mais par un signe de la main; vous me serrerez la main pour dire «oui», et vous me la secouerez pour dire «non». Je lui prends la main gauche qui est anesthésique, elle ne s’en aperçoit pas et cause avec d’autres personnes. Puis je cause aussi avec elle, mais sans qu’elle paraisse m’entendre: sa main seule m’entend et me répond par de petits mouvements très nets et très bien adaptés aux questions.
Allons plus loin, si nous ne voulons pas la faire parler sans qu’elle le sache, nous pouvons du moins la faire écrire; je lui mets un crayon dans la main droite et la main serre le crayon, comme nous le savons; mais, au lieu de diriger la main et de lui faire tracer une lettre qu’elle répétera indéfiniment, je pose une question: «Quel âge avez-vous? Dans quel ville sommes-nous ici?... etc.», et voici la main qui s’agite et écrit la réponse sur le papier, sans que, pendant ce temps, Léonie se soit arrêtée de parler d’autres choses. Je lui ai fait faire ainsi des opérations arithmétiques par écrit, qui furent assez correctes; je lui ai fait écrire des réponses assez longues qui manifestaient évidemment une intelligence assez développée.
Ce genre d’écriture est connu sous le nom d’écriture automatique, expression assez juste si l’on veut dire qu’elle est le résultat du développement régulier de certains phénomènes psychologiques, mais par laquelle il ne faut pas entendre, je crois, que cette écriture n’est accompagnée d’aucune espèce de conscience. M. Taine, dans la préface de son ouvrage sur l’Intelligence, montre très bien la possibilité et l’intérêt de ce phénomène singulier: «Plus un fait est bizarre, plus il est instructif. À cet égard, les manifestations spirites elles-mêmes nous mettent sur la voie de ces découvertes, en nous montrant la coexistence au même instant, dans le même individu, de deux pensées, de deux volontés, de deux actions distinctes, l’une dont il a conscience, l’autre dont il n’a pas conscience et qu’il attribue à des êtres invisibles... Il y a une personne qui, en causant, en chantant, écrit sans regarder son papier des phrases suivies et même des pages entières, sans avoir conscience de ce qu’elle écrit. À mes yeux, sa sincérité est parfaite; or, elle déclare qu’au bout de sa page, elle n’a aucune idée de ce qu’elle a tracé sur le papier. Quand elle le lit, elle en est étonnée, parfois alarmée... Certainement on constate ici un dédoublement du moi, la présence simultanée de deux séries d’idées parallèles et indépendantes, de deux centres d’actions, ou, si l’on veut, de deux personnes morales juxtaposées dans le même cerveau; chacune a une œuvre, et une œuvre différente, l’une sur la scène et l’autre dans la coulisse [2].»

[2] Taine. De l’intelligence. Préface, I, 16.

La distraction jouait déjà un rôle considérable dans les suggestions ordinaires exécutées consciemment que nous avons étudiées dans le chapitre précédent; mais alors elle ne portait que sur les idées antagonistes et laissait subsister la conscience de l’acte suggéré lui-même. Nous venons de voir que la distraction donne naissance à une autre espèce de suggestions; pendant que la conscience distraite est occupée d’idées indifférentes, l’acte suggéré s’exécute également mais à l’insu du sujet. En un mot, la distraction semble scinder le champ de la conscience en deux parties: l’une qui reste consciente, l’autre qui semble ignorée par le sujet. Les suggestions précédemment étudiées provoquaient des phénomènes appartenant à la première partie du champ de la conscience; celles que nous signalons maintenant déterminent des actions qui semblent rester dans la seconde et qui gardent complètement l’apparence des catalepsies partielles et inconscientes. Avant d’expliquer ces faits davantage, il nous faut les voir sous d’autres aspects et dans d’autres circonstances.

III. Les suggestions posthynoptiques. Historique et description

La persistance des commandements au-delà du somnambulisme et leur exécution après le retour à l’état normal étaient des phénomènes si bien connus par les anciens magnétiseurs que leur description peut encore être considérée comme exacte aujourd’hui. «Le magnétiseur, dit Deleuze, peut, après en être convenu avec eux, leur imprimer pendant le somnambulisme une idée ou une volonté qui les détermineront dans l’état de veille, sans qu’ils en sachent la cause. Ainsi le magnétiseur dira au somnambule: «Vous rentrerez chez vous à telle heure; vous n’irez point ce soir au spectacle, vous vous couvrirez de telle manière; vous ne ferez aucune difficulté de prendre tel remède vous ne prendrez point de liqueurs, point de café; vous ne vous occuperez plus de tel objet; vous chasserez telle crainte, vous oublierez telle chose, etc.» Le somnambule sera naturellement porté à faire ce qui lui a été prescrit; il s’en souviendra sans se douter que c’est un souvenir; il aura de l’attrait pour ce que vous lui avez conseillé, de l’éloignement pour ce que vous lui avez interdit [3]...»

[3] Deleuze. Instruction pratique, 1825, 118.

Cependant cet auteur, qui connaissait si bien la puissance des suggestions après le réveil, ne semble pas reconnaître qu’il y a un phénomène du même genre dans l’action de son eau magnétisée qui «tantôt purge et tantôt constipe suivant le besoin [4]», et qui «conserve sa puissance pendant cinq ans».

[4] Deleuze, Histoire critique, I, 125. Instruction, 65.

Bertrand comprend mieux le rôle de la suggestion posthypnotique dans ces phénomènes, et il s’en sert pour produire tous les effets attribués au magnétisme. Il décrit, l’un des premiers, cette expérience très curieuse qui consiste à commander à un sujet pendant son sommeil de revenir tel jour, à telle heure. «Il ne sera pas nécessaire, ajoute-t-il, de le faire ressouvenir de sa promesse (quand il sera éveillé) pour qu’il l’exécute; et, au moment désigné, le désir de faire ce qu’il aura voulu en somnambulisme naîtra spontanément en lui sans qu’il puisse se rendre compte du motif qui le pousse [5].»

[5] Bertrand. Traité du somnambulisme, 1823, 199.

Puisque, dès cette époque (1823), la suggestion posthypnotique était ainsi connue et utilisée, il n’est pas surprenant que tous les écrivains postérieurs nous donnent des exemples très nets et très curieux de ce phénomène. Teste, qui n’avait pas les mêmes scrupules que Deleuze, fait de véritables expériences et ordonne à ses sujets d’allumer du feu le lendemain, de broder pendant une heure, etc. [6].

[6] Teste, Magnétisme expliqué, 1845, 341.

Il propose même, avec autant de conviction que certains hypnotiseurs d’aujourd’hui, «de régulariser par là la vie morale et physique des sujets qu’on endort et de travailler à leur amélioration morale [7]».

[7] Id. Ibid., 435.

Dans cette même voie d’ailleurs, Aubin Gauthier réussit, dit-il, à changer les sentiments d’une jeune fille et à la réconcilier par suggestion avec sa mère: la scène touchante qu’il décrit à propos est bien singulière [8].

[8] A. Gauthier, Histoire, II, 361.

Charpignon est plus précis dans ses expériences; il constate qu’une hallucination complexe suggérée de la sorte (celle d’avoir reçu en cadeau un portefeuille) persiste deux jours après le réveil [9], et il démontre le rôle de la suggestion dans le sommeil provoqué par l’envoi de jetons magnétisés, en montrant que le sommeil se produit aussi si les jetons n’ont pas été magnétisés et si le sujet a été simplement prévenu pendant le somnambulisme précédent qu’ils le seraient [10].

[9] Charpignon, Physiologie du magnétisme, 82.
[10] Id. Ibid., 94, 362.

Le Journal du magnétisme de Dupotet contient naturellement un grand nombre de faits de ce genre; j’y remarque une expérience intéressante sur le sommeil provoqué à l’heure dite [11]; mais je crois qu’il vaut mieux citer entièrement le résumé, donné par un magnétiseur intéressant qui mériterait d’être plus connu, des phénomènes d’hallucinations au réveil par suggestion posthypnotique.

[11] Journal du magnétisme, 1855, 181.

«Il est souvent facile, écrit le Dr A. Perrier [12], de faire naître à volonté ce genre de névrose (l’hallucination) chez les somnambules et de le prolonger même à leur réveil. Nous leur avons fait voir à notre gré des personnes absentes ou mortes depuis longtemps; ils rapportaient à leurs boissons ou à leur aliments le goût qu’il nous avait plu de leur donner; leur odorat accusait la sensation des parfums les plus variés qui n’existaient réellement que dans notre imagination. Nous possédons en ce moment une somnambule, chez laquelle l’insensibilité la plus parfaite et l’illusion du goût persistent pendant plusieurs heures à son retour à la vie normale. Avant de la réveiller, nous émettons une volonté quelconque, et, à son réveil, elle éprouve toutes les hallucinations des sens que nous lui avons imposées. Un individu présent reste pour elle parfaitement invisible, elle en voit un autre dont elle n’entend pas la voix; un troisième la pince et elle ne le sent pas. Les liquides ont dans sa bouche la saveur que nous désirons; l’ouïe perçoit les sons les plus variables. Ses perceptions se transfigurent comme les images de nos pensées... etc.»

[12] A. Perrier, Recherches médico-magnétiques. – Journal du magnétisme, 1854, 76.

Il est difficile de donner un résumé plus complet de toutes les hallucinations, même de celles qu’on a désignées plus récemment sous le nom d’hallucinations négatives, qui peuvent être produites par suggestion. Liébault, en 1860, parle de suggestions durant 52 jours et étudie leur exécution [13].

[13] Liébault, Du sommeil, 153.

Cependant, tel était, à cette époque, le mépris puéril que l’on affectait pour le magnétisme animal que toutes ces descriptions psychologiques furent complètement oubliées et l’on crut véritablement à une découverte toute récente quand M. Ch. Richet [14] publia en 1875 ses observations sur quelques suggestions exécutées après le réveil.

[14] Ch. Richet. L’homme et l’intelligence, 251.

On eut de la peine à croire qu’une femme, ayant oublié tout ce qu’on lui avait dit pendant le somnambulisme, pût cependant revenir au bout de huit jours à l’heure dite sans savoir pourquoi. Mais, en 1823, Bertrand considérait déjà cette expérience comme banale. Il faut reconnaître que les descriptions de M. Richet eurent plus de succès que celles de Bertrand. Elles purent convaincre plus de personnes et, depuis, l’étude de la suggestion exécutée après le réveil fut faite par un grand nombre d’observateurs qui retrouvèrent l’un après l’autre tous les faits qu’avaient aperçus les anciens. Nous ne reprendrons pas la description de ce phénomène qui est maintenant bien connu: les citations précédentes pouvant tenir lieu d’une description générale; nous n’insisterons que sur les détails, qui nous feront mieux connaître le fonctionnement de l’esprit dans ces opérations singulières.
Remarquons d’abord que cette persistance d’une idée, malgré le passage d’un état à un autre se présente aussi en dehors de l’hypnotisme. «Ordinairement, dit Moreau (de Tours) [15], les rêves s’arrêtent avec le sommeil, quelquefois ils persistent dans la veille... Un individu rêve qu’il peut voler en l’air; réveillé, il éprouve le besoin de l’essayer en sautant un fossé.»

[15] Moreau (de Tours). Le haschich, 252.

«Un autre rêvé à son père qui est mort et en voit le fantôme, il continue à le voir dans le demi-réveil et même un peu pendant la veille [16].»

[16] Id. Ibid., 230.

«Le délire de beaucoup d’aliénés prend son point de départ dans les rêves de leur sommeil [17].»

[17] Id. Ibid., 261.

Les crises nerveuses et les états extatiques nous montrent des phénomènes du même genre. M. Fontaine, un des convulsionnaires de Saint-Médard, annonce, pendant une crise, que, tout le reste du carême, il ne prendra qu’un repas par jour et qu’il le prendra au pain et à l’eau; après ses crises il ne se souvient de rien et cependant il est forcé de jeûner et d’exécuter sa prescription [18].

[18] Gasparin. Tables tournantes, II, 62. – Regnard. De la sorcellerie, 178.

Liébault [19] parle d’un malade qui rêve qu’il est devenu muet et qui au réveil a réellement perdu la parole.

[19] Liébault. Revue hypnotique, I, 145, et Le Sommeil, 157.

Dans le même sens, qu’il nous soit permis de citer le procédé ingénieux d’un amoureux qui obtint la permission de s’approcher de sa belle pendant qu’elle dormait et de murmurer son propre nom à son oreille. Cette jeune personne eut dans la suite beaucoup de tendresse pour lui par une sorte de rêve récurrent [20].

[20] Proceed. S. P. R., 1882, 287.

Enfin M. Charcot cite un hystérique qui, après une crise où il croit avoir été mordu par des animaux, examine ses bras pour y chercher les traces des morsures qu’il croit avoir subies [21], et Maudsley parle d’un médecin qui croyait posséder un cheval blanc auquel il avait rêvé pendant le délire de la fièvre typhoïde [22].

[21] Charcot, Maladies du syst. nerv., III, 262.
[22] Maudsley, Pathologie de l’esprit, 219.

Tous ces phénomènes sont évidemment identiques à ceux qui se passent après le sommeil hypnotique, mais ils ne sont ni aussi nets ni aussi accessibles à l’expérimentation.

Ecerpt from pages 251-255:
[translation by Google Translate]
Let us pass to a second fact pointed out for the first time, I believe, by Mr. Gurney, and which is at least as important as the preceding one. If a subject is questioned while he is performing a post-hypnosis suggestion, he will be found to have, at this time, the memory of all his previous somnambulisms, although usually he has completely lost these memories. “He is told a piece of news during the hypnotic state; when he wakes up he does not remember it, but when he executes a suggestion he remembers the news that was told to him during hypnosis [1].”

[1] Gurney. Problems of hypnotism. Proceed. S. P. R., 1887, 273.

I have verified this character, especially with Marie, in the clearest way.
A third character, naturally related to this one, is found indicated in Mr. Gurney’s article and has been able to be verified by us in an interesting way. “If we give a suggestion to a subject in a state where he is insensitive and if we wake him up in another state where he is normally sensitive, he becomes insensitive again when he performs the suggestion [2].”

[2] Gurney. Problems of hypnotism. Proceed. S. P. R. II, 65.

I have seen a fact that confirms this, although it seems to be the opposite. Rose was normally a total anesthetic, but in a certain somnambulism she regained the sensitivity on the right side and was no more than a left hemianesthetic; when she woke up, she still lost this sensitivity and became completely insensitive again. In this particular somnambulism, I command him to look for an object on a table and to come and show it to me. Then I wake her up completely, a few moments later she gets up, walks around the room a little, goes to the table, takes the object she brings me, When she passes near me, I pinch her right arm, she screams and turns around, which she never did in the waking state. The next moment she had lost both the memory of showing me something and the sensitivity of her right side. Marie does not present, in the first ordinary somnambulism, great variations in sensitivity, she is total anesthetic as in the waking state; but here is a detail that I have seen regularly. Her right eye (she was then completely blind in her left eye) has very poor visual acuity during the vigil, one-eighth of Wecker’s table; during sleepwalking, if he is made to open his eyes, the visual acuity of the right eye always rises without any suggestion to a quarter or a third. During this sleepwalking, I suggest that she take a broom and sweep the room when she is awake. Sometime after waking up, she picks up the broom and sweeps, “because it’s dirty”, she said. I then place it, without removing its broom, in the same place as before, five meters from the board and I have it read. Visual acuity is a third. Some time later, the broom being removed, I still measure the right eye, visual acuity is one eighth. In short, when executing the post-hypnosis suggestion, she resumed the sensory state she had in somnambulism. It is thus that we must interpret, we believe, the observations of certain authors according to which a particular anesthesia would characterize the execution of post-hypnotic suggestions. This only takes place if the state during which the suggestion was made was itself a state of anesthesia. In short, in subjects of this category, the state of sensibility at the time when a suggestion is executed is the same as when it was received.
Finally Mr. Gurney points out yet another fact which we will put in fourth place. If we take a subject which is not suggestible in the waking state, but which is clearly so in somnambulism, he resumes, when executing a post-hypnotic suggestion, this disposition to the suggestion which he no longer had during the normal day before. “During this execution, a new command can be imposed on the subject which would be regarded as a joke if the subject were awake and which is then executed as if given during the hypnotic state [3].”

[3] Gurney. Proceed. S. P. R, 1887, 271, 273.

I have verified this new fact, but I do not find my observation to be of much value, for the subject on which I made it was quite strongly suggestible even during normal waking. This experience should be repeated, because Gurney’s observation remains very interesting. Thus, in summary, one can, in certain cases, observe four important psychological characteristics at the time of the execution of a post-hypnotic suggestion: 1st forgetting of the act after it has been performed; 2nd memory at the time of the accomplishment of the suggestion of the previous somnambulisms; 3rd variations of the sensory-sensory state; 4th increase in suggestibility. The connection now seems obvious and these four characters are precisely those which distinguished the somnambulic state from the waking state. Some subjects, in order to perform post-hypnotic suggestions, return to a somnambulic state identical to that during which the suggestion was received. This idea has already been expressed by MM. Fontan and Ségard [4] and by M. Delboeuf who even gave it, at least in my opinion, too general a scope, but it had not been sufficiently demonstrated.

[4] Médecine suggestive, 158.

The author in fact insists on the variation in the physiognomy of subjects who take haggard eyes when they execute a post-hypnotic suggestion. The choice of this characteristic seems unfortunate to me, because sleepwalkers do not necessarily have haggard eyes. As we have said, and as we now seem willing to admit, there is no physical sign of sleepwalking. But the psychological phenomena are here very characteristic and show that, in certain cases, the subjects are again in somnambulism when they carry out the suggestion.
Shall we say, however, that this observation, interesting though it may be, completely resolves the problem of post-hypnotic suggestion? Obviously no. First of all, it is essential to notice that things do not happen thus in all subjects and that it is even very rare to observe, during the execution of a post-hypnotic suggestion, the four characters that I have mentioned. There are people who do not have the memory or the sensitivity of sleepwalking at the time they execute a suggestion, so they do not fall back into a hypnotic state. Furthermore, even in subjects conforming to the preceding description, these phenomena are far from being all explained. If the suggestion is carried out immediately after the apparent awakening, it can be said with enough certainty that they did not actually wake up. But if, as is usual, the suggestion is carried out much later, two days to the same one hundred days later, an essential fact remains to be explained: Why do they go back to sleep at this time?
There is no point in saying, which is hardly true, that any post-hypnosis suggestion is equivalent to this: “You will go back to sleep at such-and-such a time and you will do such-and-such,” for the post-hypnosis suggestion of sleep is just as difficult to explain as any other. After waking up, they have completely forgotten that they have to go back to sleep and they do not think of this suggestion until the moment it has to be carried out. Why does this forgotten memory present itself at this moment? After their sleep, they are no longer suggestible; we can, as observed by Mr. Beaunis [5], makes them believe that a suggestion was made while they were asleep: if the suggestion was not actually made while sleepwalking, this idea is not enough and the act is not carried out.

[5] Beaunis. Somnambulisme, 208.

Why does this idea of sleep occurring among other ideas have the power to be carried out? This is not explained, although we admit that any suggestion is carried out during a new sleepwalking. In order to move forward in the study of this problem, we must examine other subjects which present in a distinct, somewhat typical way, another way of carrying out the suggestion. The new phenomena that we will see in these subjects already existed in the others, but without precision, mixed with other facts; it is better to examine them in hand before returning to more complex phenomena.


[original in French]
Passons à un second fait signalé pour la première fois, je crois, par M. Gurney et qui a une importance au moins égale à celle du précédent. Si on interroge un sujet pendant qu’il exécute une suggestion posthypnotique, on constatera qu’il a, à ce moment, le souvenir de tous ses somnambulismes précédents, quoique ordinairement il ait complètement perdu ces souvenirs. «On lui dit une nouvelle pendant l’état hypnotique; au réveil, il ne s’en souvient pas, mais quand il exécute une suggestion, il se souvient de la nouvelle qui lui a été dite pendant l’hypnose [1].»

[1] Gurney. Problems of hypnotism. Proceed. S. P. R., 1887, 273.

J’ai vérifié ce caractère, surtout avec Marie, de la façon la plus nette.
Un troisième caractère, lié naturellement à celui-ci, se trouve indiqué dans l’article de M. Gurney et a pu être vérifié par nous d’une manière intéressante. «Si on donne une suggestion à un sujet dans un état où il est insensible et si on le réveille dans un autre état où il est normalement sensible, il redevient insensible au moment où il exécute la suggestion [2].»

[2] Gurney. Problems of hypnotism. Proceed. S. P. R. II, 65.

J’ai constaté un fait qui confirme celui-ci, quoiqu’il semble en apparence l’inverse. Rose était normalement anesthésique totale, mais dans un certain somnambulisme elle reprenait la sensibilité du côté droit et n’était plus qu’hémianesthésique gauche; au réveil, elle perdait toujours cette sensibilité et redevenait complètement insensible. Dans ce somnambulisme particulier, je lui commande de chercher un objet sur une table et de venir me le montrer. Puis je la réveille complètement, quelques instants après, elle se lève, marche un peu dans la pièce, va à la table, prend l’objet qu’elle m’apporte, Quand elle passe près de moi, je lui pince le bras droit, elle pousse un cri et se retourne, ce qu’elle ne faisait jamais à l’état de veille. L’instant suivant, elle avait perdu et le souvenir de m’avoir montré quelque chose et la sensibilité de son côté droit. Marie ne présente pas, dans le premier somnambulisme ordinaire, de grandes variations de la sensibilité, elle est anesthésique totale comme à l’état de veille; mais voici un détail que j’ai constaté régulièrement. Son œil droit (elle était alors complètement aveugle de l’œil gauche) a, pendant la veille une acuité visuelle très faible, un huitième du tableau de Wecker; pendant le somnambulisme, si on lui fait ouvrir les yeux, l’acuité visuelle de l’œil droit monte toujours sans aucune suggestion à un quart ou un tiers. Pendant ce somnambulisme, je lui suggère de prendre un balai et de balayer la salle quand elle sera réveillée. Quelque temps après le réveil, elle prend le balai et balaye, «parce que c’est sale», dit-elle. Je la place alors, sans lui retirer son balai, au même endroit que précédemment, à cinq mètres du tableau et je la fais lire. L’acuité visuelle est un tiers. Quelque temps après, le balai étant retiré, je mesure encore l’œil droit, l’acuité visuelle est un huitième. En un mot, elle a repris, au moment d’exécuter la suggestion posthypnotique, l’état sensoriel qu’elle avait dans le somnambulisme. C’est ainsi qu’il faut interpréter, croyons-nous, les observations de certains auteurs d’après lesquelles une anesthésie particulière caractériserait l’exécution des suggestions posthypnotiques. Cela n’a lieu que si l’état pendant lequel la suggestion a été faite était lui-même un état d’anesthésie. En un mot, chez les sujets de cette catégorie, l’état de la sensibilité au moment où une suggestion est exécutée est le même qu’au moment où elle a été reçue.
Enfin M. Gurney signale encore un autre fait que nous mettrons en quatrième lieu. Si nous prenons un sujet qui ne soit pas suggestible à l’état de veille, mais qui le soit nettement en somnambulisme, il reprend, au moment d’exécuter une suggestion posthypnotique, cette disposition à la suggestion qu’il n’avait plus pendant la veille normale. «Pendant cette exécution, on peut imposer au sujet un nouveau commandement qui serait regardé comme une plaisanterie si le sujet était éveillé et qui est alors exécuté comme s’il était donné pendant l’état hypnotique [3].»

[3] Gurney. Proceed. S. P. R, 1887, 271, 273.

J’ai vérifié ce nouveau fait, mais je ne trouve pas que mon observation ait grande valeur, car le sujet sur lequel je l’ai effectué était assez fortement suggestible même pendant la veille normale. Il y a lieu de reprendre cette expérience, car l’observation de Gurney reste très intéressante. Ainsi, en résumé, on peut, dans certains cas, constater quatre caractères psychologiques importants au moment de l’exécution d’une suggestion posthypnotique: 1º oubli de l’acte après qu’il a été accompli; 2º souvenir au moment de l’accomplissement de la suggestion des somnambulismes précédents; 3º variations de l’état sensitivo-sensoriel; 4º augmentation de la suggestibilité. Le rapprochement semble maintenant évident et ces quatre caractères sont précisément ceux qui distinguaient l’état somnambulique de l’état de veille. Certains sujets, pour exécuter des suggestions posthypnotiques, se remettent dans un état somnambulique identique à celui pendant lequel la suggestion a été reçue. Cette idée a déjà été exprimée par MM. Fontan et Ségard [4] et par M. Delbœuf qui lui a même donné, du moins à mon avis, une portée trop générale, mais elle n’avait pas été démontrée suffisamment.

[4] Médecine suggestive, 158.

L’auteur en effet insiste sur la variation de la physionomie des sujets qui prennent des yeux hagards au moment où ils exécutent une suggestion posthypnotique. Le choix de ce caractère me paraît malheureux, car les somnambules n’ont pas nécessairement les yeux hagards. Comme nous l’avons dit et comme on semble aujourd’hui disposé à l’admettre, il n’y a pas de signe physique du somnambulisme. Mais les phénomènes psychologiques sont ici bien caractéristiques et montrent que, dans certains cas, les sujets sont de nouveau en somnambulisme quand ils exécutent la suggestion.
Dirons-nous cependant que cette constatation, tout intéressante qu’elle soit, résout complètement le problème de la suggestion posthypnotique? Évidemment non. D’abord il est essentiel de remarquer que les choses ne se passent pas ainsi chez tous les sujets et qu’il est même très rare de constater, pendant l’exécution d’une suggestion posthypnotique, les quatre caractères que j’ai signalés. Il y a des sujets qui n’ont ni la mémoire ni la sensibilité du somnambulisme au moment où ils exécutent une suggestion, ils ne retombent donc pas en état hypnotique. En outre, même chez les sujets conformes à la description précédente, ces phénomènes sont loin d’être tous expliqués. Si la suggestion s’exécute aussitôt après le réveil apparent, on peut dire avec assez de vraisemblance qu’ils ne se sont pas réellement réveillés. Mais si, comme cela est habituel, la suggestion s’exécute beaucoup plus tard, deux jours au même cent jours après, il reste à expliquer un fait essentiel: Pourquoi se rendorment-ils à ce moment-là?
Il ne sert à rien de dire, ce qui d’ailleurs n’est guère exact, que toute suggestion posthypnotique équivaut à celle-ci: «Tu te rendormiras à tel moment et tu feras telle chose,» car la suggestion posthypnotique du sommeil est tout aussi difficile à expliquer qu’une autre. Après le réveil, ils ont parfaitement oublié qu’ils devaient se rendormir et ils ne pensent point à cette suggestion avant le moment où elle doit s’exécuter. Pourquoi ce souvenir oublié se représente-t-il à ce moment? Après leur sommeil, ils ne sont plus suggestibles; on peut, comme l’a remarqué M. Beaunis [5], leur fait croire qu’une suggestion a été faite pendant qu’ils dormaient: si la suggestion n’a pas été réellement faite pendant le somnambulisme, cette idée ne suffit pas et l’acte ne s’exécute pas.

[5] Beaunis. Somnambulisme, 208.

Pourquoi cette idée de sommeil survenant parmi d’autres idées a-t-elle le pouvoir de s’exécuter? Cela n’est pas expliqué, même si nous admettons que toute suggestion est exécutée pendant un somnambulisme nouveau. Pour avancer dans l’étude de ce problème, il nous faut examiner d’autres sujets qui présentent d’une manière nette, en quelque sorte typique, une autre façon d’exécuter la suggestion. Les phénomènes nouveaux que nous verrons chez ces sujets existaient déjà chez les autres, mais sans précision, mélangés avec d’autres faits; il vaut mieux les examiner à part avant de revenir aux phénomènes plus complexes.

Ecerpt from page 257:
[translation by Google Translate]
M. Paul Janet, in his articles on hypnotism [1] and by which he made known to philosophers these curious and too neglected phenomena of human thought, had raised some doubts about a particular kind of suggestion.

[1] Revue littéraire, 26 juillet, 2, 9, 16 août 1884.

MM. Richet and Bernheim, following the example of most of the old magnetizers, had cited examples of suggestions that the subject had to accomplish when he woke up, not at a fixed deadline marked by a sign, but after a certain number of days.: “At S...”, said M. Bernheim, “I had them say in somnambulism that he would come back to see me after thirteen days; awake, he remembers nothing. On the thirteenth day, at ten o’clock, he was present.” Mr. Paul Janet writes on this subject – “I admit that these ignored memories, as Mr. Richet calls them, can awaken at any time, according to such or such circumstance. I could still understand the return, even to a fixed period, of these images and of these acts which follow from them, if the operator associated them with the appearance of a vivid sensation; for example, “the day you see Mr. So-and-so you will kiss him”, the sight of Mr. So-and-so to serve as a stimulus to awaken the idea. But what I absolutely do not understand is the alarm clock on a fixed day without any point of attachment than the counting of time, for example, in thirteen days. Thirteen days is not a feeling; it is an abstraction. To account for these facts, we must assume an unconscious faculty of measuring time; however, this is an unknown faculty.” M. Ch. Richet answered a few words [2]; but, if I am not mistaken, he did little more than confirm the correctness of the fact and related it rather vaguely to others of the same kind: “Intelligence, he says, can work outside of me, and since it works, it can measure time; this is obviously a simpler operation than finding a name, writing verses, solving a geometry problem, all of which she can accomplish without the ego participating in it.”

[2] Revue littéraire, 23 août 1884.

[original in French]
M. Paul Janet, dans les articles qu’il a publiés sur l’hypnotisme [1] et par lesquels il a fait connaître aux philosophes ces phénomènes curieux et trop négligés de la pensée humaine, avait élevé quelques doutes sur un genre particulier de suggestion.

[1] Revue littéraire, 26 juillet, 2, 9, 16 août 1884.

MM. Richet et Bernheim, à l’exemple de la plupart des magnétiseurs anciens, avaient cité des exemples de suggestions que le sujet devait accomplir à son réveil, non à une échéance fixe marquée par un signe, mais au bout d’un certain nombre de jours: «à S..., dit M. Bernheim, j’ai fait dire en somnambulisme qu’il reviendrait me voir au bout de treize jours; réveillé, il ne se souvient de rien. Le treizième jour, à dix heures, il était présent.» M. Paul Janet écrit à ce propos – «J’admets que ces souvenirs ignorés, comme les appelle M. Richet, puissent se réveiller à une époque quelconque, suivant telle ou telle circonstance. Je comprendrais encore le retour même à une époque fixe de ces images et de ces actes qui en sont la suite, si l’opérateur les associait à l’apparition d’une sensation vive; par exemple, «le jour où vous verrez M. un tel, vous l’embrasserez», la vue de M. un tel devant servir de stimulant au réveil de l’idée. Mais ce que je ne comprends absolument pas, c’est le réveil à jour fixe sans aucun point de rattache que la numération du temps, par exemple, dans treize jours. Treize jours ne représentent pas une sensation; c’est une abstraction. Pour rendre compte de ces faits, il faut supposer une faculté inconsciente de mesurer le temps; or, c’est là une faculté inconnue.» M. Ch. Richet répondit quelques mots [2]; mais, si je ne me trompe, il ne fit guère que confirmer l’exactitude du fait et le rattacha assez vaguement à d’autres du même genre: «l’intelligence, dit-il, peut travailler en dehors de moi et, puisqu’elle travaille, elle peut mesurer le temps; c’est une opération évidemment plus simple que de trouver un nom, de faire des vers, de résoudre un problème de géométrie, toutes choses qu’elle peut accomplir sans que le moi y participe.»

[2] Revue littéraire, 23 août 1884.

Ecerpt from pages 266-267:
[translation by Google Translate]
The study of these phenomena on these new subjects allows us to make another remark which is important. When there are several different and successive somnambulisms, as in Leonie, the post-hypnotic suggestion can be made from one somnambulism to another, as from a sleepwalking on the eve, and it still has the same character. So let us suppose Leonie in her last somnambulism which we have described, in the state of Leonie 3, I order her then to look for a scarf and to put it on; then I wake her up, that is to say, I make her pass from this deep state to another state which is still somnambulism, but in which the memory of Leonie 3 is completely lost. In this state, Léonie 2 does not remember the order given and speaks of something else, but her hands seek the scarf and put it around her neck without her knowing it. The thing was done subconsciously, as if the subject was in a waking state from the second sleepwalking. It is the same with Lucie; as we had not seen it first, the suggestions made in Lucy 3 are carried out unconsciously during the first sleepwalking. It can even be said that in general the suggestions always seemed to address this group of third-order phenomena, as they were seldom known even during the first somnambulism. These remarks on the execution of the suggestions are therefore general; they apply not only to the transition from sleepwalking to waking, but to all changes of state. A suggestion given in a deeper state takes the form of a subconscious act when the subject has returned to a different and above all less deep state.

[original in French]
L’étude de ces phénomènes sur ces nouveaux sujets nous permet de faire une autre remarque qui a son importance. Quand il y a plusieurs somnambulismes différents et successifs, comme chez Léonie, la suggestion posthypnotique peut être faite d’un somnambulisme à l’autre, comme d’un somnambulisme à la veille, et elle a encore le même caractère. Ainsi supposons Léonie dans son dernier somnambulisme que nous avons décrit, en état de Léonie 3, je lui commande alors de chercher un foulard et de le mettre; puis je la réveille, c’est-à-dire que je la fais passer de cet état profond à un autre état qui est encore du somnambulisme, mais dans lequel le souvenir de Léonie 3 est complètement perdu. Dans cet état, Léonie 2 ne se souvient point de l’ordre donné et parle d’autre chose, mais ses mains cherchent le foulard et le mettent au cou à son insu. La chose s’est exécutée subconsciemment, comme si le sujet était dans un état de veille par rapport au deuxième somnambulisme. Il en est de même chez Lucie; comme nous ne l’avions pas vu tout d’abord, les suggestions faites en Lucie 3 s’exécutent inconsciemment pendant le premier somnambulisme. On peut même dire qu’en général, les suggestions semblaient toujours s’adresser à ce groupe de phénomènes de troisième ordre, car elles étaient rarement connues même pendant le premier somnambulisme. Ces remarques sur l’exécution des suggestions sont donc générales; elles s’appliquent, non seulement au passage du somnambulisme à la veille, mais à tous les changements d’état. Une suggestion donnée dans un état plus profond prend la forme d’un acte subconscient quand le sujet est revenu à un état différent et surtout moins profond.

Ecerpt from pages 271-286:
[translation by Google Translate]
I. Systematized anesthesias. – History

Anesthesia has presented itself to us in two forms: sometimes it was general and removed from the subject all the sensations ordinarily furnished by a sense, sometimes it was systematic and only removed from the subject a certain number, a certain system of sensations or images, by letting consciousness reach the knowledge of all the other phenomena provided by this same sense. It is this that we will examine first, because it is easy to reproduce it artificially and to study it, thanks to a very curious experience and known for a very long time as the suggestion of negative hallucination or suggestion of systematized anesthesia. In fact, thanks to suggestion, one can forbid a somnambulist as easily as one can command one, and, when the prohibition concerns sensations, it can produce deafness or artificial blindness, how the positive command led to a hallucination. This prohibition is especially interesting when it does not take away from the subject the vision of all objects, but only of a certain object which remains invisible, while all the others are clearly distinguished.
Facts of this kind have been pointed out for a very long time: “We often take advantage of the hour of sleepwalking”, said Deleuze in 1825, “to make the patient take a remedy for which he loathes. I saw a lady who hated leeches get them applied to her feet while sleepwalking and tell her magnetizer: “Now forbid me to look at my feet, when I’m awake.” Indeed, she had never suspected that she had been asked leeches [1].”

[1] Deleuze. Instruction pratique, 4e édit., 1853, 119.

Bertrand, at the same time, wrote: “I saw the person who magnetized the sleepwalkers tell them when they were asleep: I want you not to see any of the people in the room when you wake up, but that you believe that you saw such and such a person whom he designated to them and who was often not present. The patient opened his eyes and, without appearing to see any of the people who surrounded him, addressed himself to those she believed to see [2]...”

[2] Bertrand. Traité du somnambulisme, 1823, 256.

Here is a curious account from Teste: “Mme G... is asleep, M... directs two or three large longitudinal passes over a few people present. Mrs G... which he then wakes up only sees him and me; all the rest of the room, where she seems convinced to be alone with the two of us, seems to her filled, she said, with a whitish cloud: “It’s amazing”, she said, “I hear voices which speak... but where are these gentlemen, and Mrs. ***, what has become of her? I am sure I can hear them; tell them to show up, please, that scares me [3].”

[3] Teste. Magnétisme expliqué, 1845, 415.

The most singular is the way in which Teste explains the phenomenon. “It is the magnetic fluid, inert vapor, opaque and whitish, staying like a mist where the hand deposits it, which hides objects from the somnambulist.” We must quote a whole passage from Charpignon [4], where despite the fallacy of theories analogous to these, we find a very precise psychological description: “The ability to bring the memory of what takes place in the somnambulist state into ordinary life extends to changes in the functions of the senses. Thus, having presented three oranges to somnambulists, only one of which had been magnetized and surrounded by a thick layer of fluid, with the intention that it would remain visible, this orange was indeed visible when these somnambulists were restored to their normal condition. In vain we claimed that the tray had three oranges, they laughed at us and presented us with the two oranges they grabbed. Finally groping with their hand, they meet a body which they take, the spell disappears, and the three oranges become visible. (The last detail forms an interesting observation which we have sometimes verified.) I ask another sleepwalker if she sees the small table in the middle of our living room, she answers yes. So I wrap the entire foot in the fluid and she is amazed to see a hanging table top. Upon awakening, astonishment cannot be described; this young lady presses this aerial table on all sides, she finds it solid and is very worried about us. We have varied these experiences in a thousand ways, which we believe to be very little known, and we have always succeeded when we were dealing with a very lucid sleepwalker.”

[4] Charpignon. Physiologie du magnétisme, 1848, 81.

We should not, moreover, attribute to all the old magnetizers this somewhat childish explanation; Bertrand, as we know, supported a theory quite analogous to that of Braid. “The impression suggested”, said the latter in 1843, “has taken hold of the mind of the patient to such an extent that one can, under its influence, suspend the functions of sight, make him blind in front of an object placed in front of it, him or cause the thought that this object is transformed into another [5]...”

[5] Braid. Neurypnologie, 1883, 247.

This theory of the phenomenon is found with few modifications in the work of Dr Philips [6] and in that of Dr Liébault [7].

[6] Cours de braidisme, 1860, 120.
[7] Du sommeil, 279.

M. Bernheim, who resumes the study of the same fact, distinguishes with precision the ordinary or positive hallucination from this suppression of sensation which he calls negative hallucination. “To a lady G... in my department, I suggest that when she wakes up she won’t see me anymore, won’t hear me anymore, I won’t be there anymore. Awake, she looks for me, in vain I corner her in her ear that I am there, pinch her hand which she suddenly withdraws without discovering the origin of this sensation... This negative illusion, which I already had produced at home in other sessions, but which had only persisted for five to ten minutes, this time persisted throughout the time, twenty minutes, that I remained with her [8].”

[8] De la suggestion, 1884, 27.

M. Bernheim cites other facts, but without varying the experience much. Mr. Bernheim has been strongly criticized for the name he has chosen to designate this fact. This is not a hallucination, it is said, but the suppression of the perception of a specific object which leaves the perception of another object intact... It is a phenomenon analogous to systematized paralysis of movement, loss special movements with the conservation of movements of another kind, it is a systematized anesthesia [9].

[9] Binet et Féré. Revue philosophique, 1885, I, 23.

No doubt the fact in question is more akin to anesthesias than to hallucinations, and it is, as we shall see, of the same nature as paralysis; the two words negative hallucination also form a rather incorrect association; Unless we call general anesthesia a total negative hallucination, which is not the habit, it seems more natural to designate this fact by the expression systematized anesthesia, than MM. Binet and Féré adopted. However, M. Bernheim is right not to make of this phenomenon a real anesthesia, a real suppression of sensation. “I did not produce”, he said, “a paralysis of the eye, the subject sees all the objects except the one which has been suggested invisible to him; I erased a sensory image in his brain, I neutralized or made negative the perception of this image: I call it a negative hallucination [10].”

[10] De la suggestion, 2e édit. 1886, 45.

The facts which we have studied confirm this opinion of M. Bernheim, and if we adopt the word new, it is because it seems to us more correct to designate by an analogous term the general anesthesias of hysterics and those partial anesthesias which are, as we will show, of the same kind.
The last authors who made a special study of this phenomenon are, I believe, M. Paul Richer [11] and MM. Binet and Féré who have indicated, on this subject, several very precise experiments:

[11] La grande hystérie, 1885, 724.

1st If it has been suggested to a sleepwalker that a person, Mr X.., had disappeared, the sleepwalker can no longer see him wherever he is in the room; but if we add an object on M. X... a hat for example, as it is not included in the suggestion, this hat remains visible and then appears to be standing in the air. On the contrary, if Mr X... takes a handkerchief from his pocket, this handkerchief remains invisible like him. I have had the opportunity to observe, as the authors themselves note, that these two phenomena and others of the same kind are very variable. For a sleepwalker, any object added to M. X... always becomes invisible like him, for another it is always visible. I once saw a person who saw the object in half, as if cut in half, when it was held by both the invisible person and a visible person.
2nd The person or the object which one made invisible really hides the objects which it covers, but the somnambulist makes up for the vision of these objects by a hallucination which replaces them; this is moreover what we do daily for objects which come to paint themselves on the blind spot of the retina. This hallucination can go very far: I once saw a subject, to whom I had suggested not to see the room, to replace it with the hallucination of another apartment of which I had not spoken.
3rd The invisible object must be really perceived, because it sometimes produces a consecutive image of complementary color which is visible: if a red paper is made to disappear, the somnambulist does not see it, but, after some time, will see a greenish color in the same place. I have not observed this phenomenon clearly enough, but the physical and moral conditions on which sleepwalking depends are so complex that one should never be surprised not to encounter exactly the same phenomena as other observers..
4th “Between ten boxes of similar affiliation, we designate one to the sleepwalker patient and that one alone will be invisible. When he wakes up, in fact, we present the ten boxes to him successively, this one alone is invisible to which we have, during sleepwalking, drawn his attention. If the patient is sometimes wrong, it is because the point of reference is missing and the boxes are too similar; likewise if we show her only a small corner of the boxes, they will see them all [12].”

[12] Binet et Féré. Magnétisme animal, 236.

This experience is, in my opinion, capital and it indicates to us the true position of the question. In fact, it is no longer a question of paralysis of the retina, neither complete nor partial, “the subject must recognize this object in order not to see it... The recognition of the cardboard, which requires a very delicate operation and very complex, however results in a phenomenon of anesthesia; it is therefore probable that this act takes place entirely in the unconscious... There is always an unconscious reasoning which precedes, prepares and guides the phenomenon of anesthesia”. Not only is this probable, but it is necessary; awakened, the somnambulist no longer remembers what she was ordered, she does not know that there is an object that she should not see, nor what that object is. When we show her the box, however, this memory must be reborn and she must recognize this box by certain signs, although she is not aware of any of this. It seems to me that there is some analogy between this question and one of the problems we studied in the previous chapter. How does a sleepwalker who has been ordered to return in a week count those eight days, when she has no memory of the suggestion? How does she recognize a sign that she doesn’t remember and that she doesn’t even seem to see? These two problems are identical and if the observation of the subject of which we spoke, of Lucie, allowed me to shed some light on the first point, perhaps it will allow me to clarify a little the second.

II. Persistence of sensation despite systematized anesthesia

The experiments reported previously make “probable”, said their authors, the existence of an unconscious distinction of the sign; let’s repeat them with precision first. During the complete hypnotic sleep, I place on the sleepwalker’s lap five white cards, two of which are marked with a small cross. “When you are awake, I told her, you will no longer see the papers marked with a cross.” I wake her up as completely as possible about ten minutes later, and she has no memory of my command or of what she may have done while sleepwalking. As she is surprised to see some papers on her knees, I beg her to count them and hand them to me one by one. Lucie, take three papers one after the other, the ones that are not marked, and give them to me. I insist and ask the others, she maintains that she can no longer get over it, because there are no more. The physiognomy does not seem altered and she seems wide awake; she can chat freely and remembers everything she does, even telling me that there are only three papers in her lap. I take all the papers and I spread them out on her knees upside down, so as to hide the crosses, she counts five and gives them all to me. I replace them leaving the crosses visible, it can only take the three names marked and leave the other two. This is the experience of MM. Binet and Féré, and it seems natural to conclude like them that the crosses are seen and recognized in some way. We can make this supposition even more plausible by complicating the experiment. I put the subject back to sleep and put twenty small numbered papers on his knees. “You will not see, I said, the papers which bear numbers multiples of three.” Awakening, same forgetfulness and even astonishment from Lucie at these papers which are still on her knees. I beg her to give them to me one by one: she gives me fourteen and leaves six which she is careful not to touch; the remaining six are multiples of three. No matter how hard I insist, she sees no other. Here was it not necessary to remember that it was about the multiples of three and to see the figures to recognize these multiples. We can end with this joke: suggest that the subject not see the paper on which the word “Invisible” is written and in fact it is this paper that he does not see.
This object which appears invisible is therefore seen. This is plausible; but we know, and we are not the only one to note it, that the subject is sincere when he says that he does not see it. The vision of these objects must be of the same kind, the same level as the subconscious acts we were talking about earlier. Let’s demonstrate it. I said to Lucie during sleepwalking, I no longer repeat the arrangement of the experiment, which is always the same, that Dr Powilewicz, then present, has just left. When she wakes up, she no longer sees him and asks why he went out, I tell her not to worry about it. Then, putting myself behind her as she speaks, as it is said of distracted suggestions, I whisper to her, “Get up and go and give the doctor your hand.” Here she gets up, walks towards the doctor and takes his hand, however her eyes continue to seek him. We ask her what she is doing and who she is giving her hand to, she replies with a laugh – “You can see it, I am sitting in my chair and I am not giving a hand to anyone.” Since she thought she was sitting and still, she probably didn’t feel a reason to move and remained standing with her hand outstretched. He had to be commanded in the same way to return to his place. Naturally Lucie had no memory of getting up and giving her hand; but she remembered everything else, especially the doctor’s disappearance. There had been a subconscious act; but we will notice that the doctor’s subconscious vision had remained attached to this act despite its apparent disappearance for Lucie.
The same experience can be done differently; it is the missing person now who gives him commands and tells him to get up, to thumb his nose, etc. Everything is executed perfectly, although Lucie still maintains that she cannot see and hear this person. I even made this remark about this with another subject, Marie. Little-known people, who cannot make any suggestion to it when they are seen and heard normally, take on a power similar to that of the magnetizer when they have thus disappeared. They then command the group of subconscious phenomena less resistant than the group of conscious phenomena. It is to phenomena of this kind that we must link the observation of M. Beaunis, that people who have thus disappeared can nevertheless lull the subject by passes [13].

[13] Beaunis. Somnambulisme, 179.

This is quite natural, since they are still in relation with those subconscious phenomena of which somnambulism is, as we will see, the greatest development. Moreover, by a command addressed directly and strongly to the subject, we can make him remember all these commandments that he was supposed not to have heard. In general, we can, by suggestion, restore the memory of all the sensations which seem to have been suppressed by the systematized anesthesia; but we will meet again, in connection with general anesthesia, this question of the memory of subconscious phenomena.
According to these observations, which are now sufficient, it is therefore most likely first that the suppressed sensation still exists and then that it is related in some way to the subconscious acts. The use of automatic writing which we have already spoken of will provide a definitive check here. Let’s go back to our first experiences. Lucie does not see the papers marked with a cross, nor the papers which bear a number multiple of three, and she has not given them to me. At this moment, I step away from her, and taking advantage of a sufficient moment of distraction, I order to take a pencil and write what is on the knees. The right hand writes: “There are two papers marked with a small cross. – Why did Lucie not give them to me? – She can’t, she doesn’t see them.” – Or else she writes: “There are six little papers on my knees. – And what’s on these papers? – Numbers 6, 15, 12, 3, 9, 18, I can see them clearly.” – The same experiment was repeated by removing the multiples of two, then the multiples of five. I then put in front of her some papers marked with a letter and I made the vowels or consonants disappear; then I used papers marked with several lines and I made disappear those which carried three; finally, showing him colored papers while he slept, I forbade him to see red. The result of these experiments was exactly the same as the previous ones. Lucie did not see the deleted object at all; but the group of subconscious phenomena, which we do not yet know how to designate otherwise, responded by automatic writing that they saw them perfectly.

It remained to be seen whether more extensive anesthesias would present the same character. While sleeping, I suggest that when she wakes up she will be completely blind. Upon awakening, complete blindness which, fortunately, does not frighten her too much, because she invents, as an explanation, that the lamp has gone out and that we are all in the dark. A strong light projected directly into his eyes does not even make him look away; usually, in such a circumstance, she hides her eyes with terror and even falls into catalepsy. This experience recalls that of MM. Binet and Féré, who by suggestion made a gong disappear, the noise of which was no longer heard by the patient and no longer caused catalepsy. Despite Lucie’s apparent blindness, I question the unconscious through ordinary procedures, which claims to see very clearly and designates in writing all the objects I show it.

I am not talking about other experiences of systematized anesthesia made on the sense of hearing or the sense of smell, by removing a smell or the sound of the voice of such and such a person who is no longer consciously heard, but who can still command unconscious acts; these experiments always give the same results. It seems to me more interesting to insist a little on the same observations applied in the sense of tact. The systematized anesthesia of touch can be observed in two ways: either the subject is told that he will not feel the contact of such and such an object among a crowd of others, and things happen as before. Or we indicate a part of the subject’s body (on an ordinarily sensitive side of the body) and declare that this part no longer feels anything, while the rest remains sensitive. This is the experience that Charpignon [14] was already doing when he boasted of being able to render a hand or an arm insensible at will.

[14] Charpignon. Physiologie du magnétisme, 282.

I remember my astonishment when Mr. Gilbert showed me that one could draw a circle on Leonie’s right arm and make this circle insensitive, while the rest of the arm remained normal. Here we are more inclined to believe in a real anesthesia: the anesthesia, in this case, they say, is not systematic, it is partial: a nerve no longer feels anything, as does an eye or a part of the retina may not feel anything. I do not believe it is so. The circle or the anesthetic star that is drawn on the arm does not exactly correspond to the superficial distribution zone of a cutaneous nerve. It is not a single nerve as a whole that is anesthetized, it is a portion of one, plus a portion of several others.
This intelligent distribution of anesthesia so as to draw a circle or a star can only be done by a conscious idea. To answer me correctly when I question him by pricking his arm, the subject must know, even without looking, when my prick enters the circle; he must therefore feel it. Also we will not be surprised that the unconscious responds to us by automatic writing that it feels very well what we are doing and that it distinguishes a prick, a touch, a hot or cold object even on this anesthetized plate.

Having thus determined the existence of a sort of new consciousness during systematized anesthesias, I wanted to examine the extent of this consciousness, that is to say the number of phenomena that it could contain. Let us take the first experiment again; it is not dramatic and has the disadvantage of not entertaining the public or sleepwalkers, but it is very precise. While sleeping, I put the five papers on her lap again and repeat the same command: “You will not see the papers marked with a cross.” When I wake up, I do not question Lucie, as I did previously, and I do not make her remove the papers she sees. It is the group of subconscious phenomena that I now question first, and it is by subconscious acts that I have the papers that are on my knees handed back to me. The eyes drop for a moment and my hand holds out two papers to me, both marked with a cross. I insist, the hand does not move, finally she writes: “There are no more.” I call Lucie – “Give me the papers which are on your knees.” She looks and gives me the three remaining papers without hesitation. So all the papers have been seen, and handed in, but some have been by Lucie and others by a person below her whom she seems to ignore, but neither has seen them all.
If the preceding remark is true, and I add that the experiments were not on this point as numerous nor as precise as on the preceding one, it must have this consequence: any phenomenon added artificially to the second group will be removed from consciousness normal of Lucia constituted by the first group, and we must thus make systematized anesthesia for Lucie, by producing in the subconscious group a positive phenomenon. Let us try: during sleep or during waking, it doesn’t matter, I address myself to the subconscious character by the process of suggestion during the distraction: “You will see, I said to him, the papers marked with a cross, the multiples of 3, etc.” The result is exactly the same as before. Lucie, the first to be questioned, no longer sees these same papers. I had noticed that the secondary character did not use his eyes to write and that in general he did not see; I suggest that he use his eyes and see clearly. This is what takes place, but Lucie immediately exclaims – “What is it then, I no longer see.” And I have to put her back to sleep to dispel her confusion. Note in this connection that we have already seen facts of this kind by studying the post-hypnotic suggestions. The subconscious acts thus obtained have a general, evident and even necessary character: they are accompanied, if not constituted, by a systematized anesthesia of the kind we are now studying. I told Leonie to thumb his nose at me; when she wakes up, she lifts her hands and puts them at the end of her nose without knowing it; it is an unconscious act, yes, but she does not see her hands which are in front of her eyes. I told N... to raise her right arm, she does it while awake, but she doesn’t feel her arm in the air; however, she has not usually lost the muscular sense of her right arm. I count numbers, I punch blows behind them, and they don’t hear them; however they are not deaf. Here is an even clearer example: I had suggested to Lucie one evening, while sleepwalking, to come the next day to Dr. Powilewicz at two o’clock. When she arrived the next day, I could never make her recognize where she was; she still maintained that she was at home. There is, no doubt, an unconscious act by post-hypnotic suggestion, but it is still a fine case of systematized anesthesia. Lucie had seen neither the road, nor the house, nor the study where she was; she made up for this absent vision by a hallucination; we know this is the rule, but the main fact was visual anesthesia. I had quite simply suggested an act to the subconscious character and consequently knowledge of the road, of the house, of the office; at the same time, without knowing it, I had taken this knowledge from Lucie by virtue of this law of mental disaggregation which seems to characterize more and more subconscious phenomena.
All these experiments made on all the senses, either by directly provoking anesthesia by suggestion, or by directly provoking it by commanding a post-hypnotic action, lead us to this conclusion: In the suggestion of systematized anesthesia, the sensation is not suppressed and cannot be, it is simply displaced, it is removed from normal consciousness, but can be found as part of another group of phenomena, of a kind of other consciousness.

III. Systematized electivity or esthesia

We will no doubt be surprised to see me examine here the phenomenon which will be the subject of this paragraph, because we are not in the habit of relating the electivity of sleepwalkers to their systematized anesthesias. However, these two phenomena seem to me to be very close or, to put it better, they are, in my opinion, only one and the same fact considered from two different points of view.
Somnambulists are always or almost always elective, such is the observation which has been made unceasingly since the time of Mesmer and Puységur. By this is meant that, in this particular state of somnambulism, the subjects do not feel all the sensations indifferently, but that they seem to make a choice among the different impressions which fall on their senses, in order to perceive these and not those. The most subjects when asleep hear their magnetizer very well and talk to it, but seem to hear no other person, no other noise, not even that of a pistol being fired near them, as in Dupotet’s experiments. “The very sounds of a piano are only heard if the magnetizer touches it [15];”

[15] De Lausanne. Principes et procédés du magnétisme, 1819, II, 160.

“Sounds are heard only if they are magnetized; the magnetizer must touch the air or the piano keys for the sleepwalker to hear the notes that have been touched [16].”

[16] Charpignon. Physiologie magnétique, 79. – Voir aussi Baréty, Magnétisme, 398. – Myers, Proceed., 1882, 255. Ibid., 1887, 538. – Ochorowicz, Suggestion mentale, 404.

“A bouquet has no smell unless it has received the breath of the magnetizer [17].”

[17] Baréty, 284.

“A subject does not feel the pins stuck in his skin, although he has a very fine sense of tact to behave [18].”

[18] Demarquay et Girauld-Teulon. Hypnotisme, 32.

“The subject will feel the pencil that has been touched by the magnetizer and will not feel the pencil if it has been touched by another [19].”

[19] Ochorowiez. Suggestion mentale, 337.

This link between the subject and certain people or certain objects which allows him to feel them to the exclusion of others, has received the name of magnetic relation, and we put a person in touch with the subject when we force the subject to see it or hear it. This fact of the magnetic relation is very interesting and very easy to ascertain: it existed to a greater or lesser degree in most of the subjects I have studied. Léonie at first somnambulism hardly presents this character, she hears and sees everyone; she presents it much more strongly in the second somnambulism, because then she hears only me and again only when I touch her. She has a greater electivity in all the states as regards the suggestions, because she never obeys only me. Marie and Rose are generally more elective than Léonie; from the moment they fall asleep, they seem to lose all notion of the outside world, only to see, hear or smell the one who put them to sleep. Marie only keeps a little tactile sensitivity for other people, if you can call it that, for she experiences a very marked feeling of pain and loathing when touched by a stranger unrelated to her. Rose never feels anything like it. I am not talking here about Lucie, who was not very elective and only distinguished me from other people to obey me.

This isolation manifests itself in different ways; one of the most curious and well-known is this: if I raised their arm in the air in a particular position, it has remained still, and I move it very easily just by touching it. But if another wants to move it, the arm suddenly becomes stiff and violently resists the movement you want to impose on it. If you force it to change position, it returns as if by elasticity, as soon as you abandon it, to the position where I had put it.
We know that this electivity can be different in the different parts of the subject’s body. The right side can obey one experimenter and the left side another. Neither of them can cross the center line and enter the territory reserved for the other. I did not often repeat this experiment which, at least from what I saw, tires the subjects enormously.
This electivity can be modified by different procedures which allow one observer to substitute for another in the preferences of the somnambulist: some, to achieve this result, use the touching of the vertex, others, the passes, some- some simply succeed by the word. This substitution from one magnetizer to another is sometimes easy, sometimes difficult: for the subjects I have observed, the person who most often put them to sleep is the one who takes and keeps this influence most easily. When I have frequently put a person to sleep, no other observer can take my place, and I can easily take them back, even if another has started sleepwalking. When the subject has been put to sleep by all kinds of people often, these substitutions are easy for everyone; but, in general, in this case, all electivity does not take long to fade.
It is also more or less easy, without losing control over a sleepwalker, to make her hear another person whom one wants to put in touch with her. With Rose, this is very difficult; the somnambulist must be strongly commanded to hear M. such-and-such, and yet this relationship thus established lasts very little. With Mary, on the contrary, it is very simple, a presentation is enough. She looks like a reserved young person waiting to chat with strangers to be introduced to her. All you have to do is say to her: “Marie, here is Mr. So-and-so coming to say hello,” so that she receives him very well and continues to hear him throughout the rest of the session. Curiously enough, this simple word was enough for her to no longer fear his contact. With Léonie, as a second somnambulism, you have to take both the subject’s hand and the foreign person’s hand on the other side. Léonie then pretends to hear a distant voice which passes through my body. “It’s like in a telephone”, she said.

In some more difficult cases, this connection can be established by means of a magnetic chain, as the old operators said. I myself once reported an example of this kind [20]: several people can hold hands, and, depending on whether the magnetizer, while hiding and without the subject’s knowledge, touches or does not touch the last, these people are or are not in touch with the subject.

[20] Les phases intermédiaires de l’hypnotisme. Revue scientifique, 1886, I, 581.

The difficulty here is to understand how the subject learns that the magnetizer touches or does not touch the people in the chain; as for the phenomenon of the report itself, it is identical to the preceding ones.



[original in French]
I. Les anesthésies systématisées. – Historique

L’anesthésie s’est présentée à nous sous deux formes: tantôt elle était générale et enlevait au sujet toutes les sensations ordinairement fournies par un sens, tantôt elle était systématique et n’enlevait au sujet qu’un certain nombre, un certain système de sensations ou d’images, en laissant parvenir à la conscience la connaissance de tous les autres phénomènes fournis par ce même sens. C’est celle-ci que nous examinerons la première, car il est facile de la reproduire artificiellement et de l’étudier, grâce à une expérience très curieuse et connue depuis fort longtemps sous le nom de suggestion d’hallucination négative ou suggestion d’anesthésie systématisée. En effet, grâce à la suggestion, on peut interdire une chose à une somnambule, aussi facilement que l’on peut lui en commander une, et, lorsque l’interdiction porte sur les sensations, elle peut produire une surdité ou une cécité artificielle, comme le commandement positif amenait une hallucination. Cette interdiction est surtout intéressante quand elle n’enlève pas au sujet la vision de tous les objets, mais seulement d’un certain objet qui demeure invisible, tandis que tous les autres sont clairement distingués.
Des faits de ce genre sont signalés depuis fort longtemps: «On profite souvent de l’heure du somnambulisme, disait Deleuze en 1825, pour faire prendre au malade un remède pour lequel il a de la répugnance. J’ai vu une dame qui avait de l’horreur pour les sangsues s’en faire appliquer aux pieds pendant le somnambulisme et dire à son magnétiseur: «Défendez-moi maintenant de regarder mes pieds, quand je serai éveillée.» En effet, elle ne s’était jamais doutée qu’on lui eût posée des sangsues [1].»

[1] Deleuze. Instruction pratique, 4e édit., 1853, 119.

Bertrand, à la même époque, écrivait: «J’ai vu la personne qui magnétisait les somnambules leur dire quand elles étaient endormies: Je veux que vous ne voyiez en vous éveillant aucune des personnes qui se trouvent dans la chambre, mais que vous croyiez voir telle ou telle personne qu’il leur désignait et qui souvent n’était pas présente. La malade ouvrait les yeux et, sans paraître voir aucune des personnes qui l’entouraient, adressait la parole à celles qu’elle croyait voir [2]...»

[2] Bertrand. Traité du somnambulisme, 1823, 256.

Voici un récit curieux de Teste: «Mme G... est endormie, M... dirige sur quelques personnes présentes deux ou trois grandes passes longitudinales. Mme G... qu’il éveille ensuite n’aperçoit plus que lui et moi; tout le reste de la chambre, où elle paraît persuadée d’être seule avec nous deux, lui semble remplie, dit-elle, d’un nuage blanchâtre: «C’est prodigieux, dit-elle, j’entends des voix qui me parlent... mais où sont ces messieurs, et Mme***, qu’est-elle devenue? Il est certain que je les entends; ditesleur donc de se montrer, je vous en prie, cela me fait peur [3].»

[3] Teste. Magnétisme expliqué, 1845, 415.

Le plus singulier, c’est la façon dont Teste explique le phénomène. «C’est le fluide magnétique, vapeur inerte, opaque et blanchâtre, séjournant comme un brouillard où la main le dépose, qui cache les objets à la somnambule.» Il faut citer tout entier un passage de Charpignon [4], où malgré la fausseté des théories analogues à celles-ci, on trouve une description psychologique vraiment très précise: «La faculté de faire passer dans la vie ordinaire le souvenir de ce qui a lieu dans l’état somnambulique s’étend aux modifications que l’on opère sur les fonctions des sens. Ainsi, ayant présenté à des somnambules trois oranges, dont une seule avait été magnétisée et entourée d’une couche épaisse de fluide, avec l’intention qu’elle restât visible, cette orange le fut en effet lorsque ces somnambules furent rendues à leur état normal. En vain nous affirmions que le plateau portait trois oranges, elles riaient de nous et nous présentaient les deux oranges qu’elles saisissaient. Enfin tâtonnant de la main, elles rencontrent un corps qu’elles prennent, le charme disparaît, et les trois oranges deviennent visibles. (Le dernier détail forme une observation intéressante que nous avons quelquefois vérifiée.) Je demande à une autre somnambule si elle voit la petite table qui est au milieu de notre salon, elle répond oui. Alors j’enveloppe tout le pied du fluide et elle s’étonne de voir un dessus de table suspendu. Au réveil, l’étonnement ne peut être décrit; cette demoiselle presse de tous côtés cette table aérienne, elle la trouve solide et s’en va fort inquiète sur notre compte. Nous avons varié de mille façons ces expériences, que nous croyons très peu connues et nous avons toujours réussi, lorsque nous avions affaire à un somnambule bien lucide.»

[4] Charpignon. Physiologie du magnétisme, 1848, 81.

Il ne faudrait pas d’ailleurs prêter à tous les magnétiseurs anciens cette explication un peu puérile; Bertrand, comme on sait, soutenait une théorie tout à fait analogue à celle de Braid. «L’impression suggérée, dit celui-ci en 1843, s’est à tel point emparée de l’esprit du patient que l’on peut, sous son influence, suspendre les fonctions de la vue, le rendre aveugle devant un objet placé devant lui ou provoquer la pensée que cet objet est transformé en un autre [5]...»

[5] Braid. Neurypnologie, 1883, 247.

Cette théorie du phénomène se retrouve avec peu de modifications dans l’ouvrage du Dr Philips [6] et dans celui du Dr Liébault [7].

[6] Cours de braidisme, 1860, 120.
[7] Du sommeil, 279.

M. Bernheim, qui reprend l’étude du même fait, distingue avec précision l’hallucination ordinaire ou positive de cette suppression de sensation qu’il appelle hallucination négative. «A une dame G... de mon service, je suggère qu’à son réveil elle ne me verra plus, ne m’entendra plus, je ne serai plus là. Réveillée, elle me cherche, j’ai beau lui corner à l’oreille que je suis là, lui pincer la main qu’elle retire brusquement sans découvrir l’origine de cette sensation... Cette illusion négative, que j’avais déjà produite chez elle dans d’autres séances, mais qui n’avait persisté que cinq à dix minutes, persista cette fois pendant tout le temps, vingt minutes, que je restai auprès d’elle [8].»

[8] De la suggestion, 1884, 27.

M. Bernheim cite d’autres faits, mais sans varier beaucoup l’expérience. On a vivement reproché à M. Bernheim le nom qu’il a choisi pour désigner ce fait. Ce n’est pas là une hallucination, dit-on, mais la suppression de la perception d’un objet déterminé qui laisse intacte la perception d’un autre objet... C’est un phénomène analogue aux paralysies systématisées du mouvement, perte de mouvements spéciaux avec la conservation des mouvements d’un autre genre, c’est une anesthésie systématisée [9].

[9] Binet et Féré. Revue philosophique, 1885, I, 23.

Sans doute, le fait en question se rapproche plutôt des anesthésies que des hallucinations, et il est, comme nous le verrons, de la même nature que les paralysies; les deux mots hallucination négative forment aussi une association assez incorrecte; à moins d’appeler l’anesthésie générale une hallucination négative totale, ce qui n’est pas l’habitude, il semble plus naturel de désigner ce fait par l’expression d’anesthésie systématisée, que MM. Binet et Féré ont adoptée. Cependant M. Bernheim a raison de ne pas faire de ce phénomène une véritable anesthésie, une véritable suppression de la sensation. «Je n’ai pas produit, dit-il, une paralysie de l’œil, le sujet voit tous les objets à l’exception de celui qui a été suggéré invisible pour lui; j’ai effacé dans son cerveau une image sensorielle, j’ai neutralisé ou rendu négative la perception de cette image: j’appelle cela une hallucination négative [10].»

[10] De la suggestion, 2e édit. 1886, 45.

Les faits que nous avons étudiés confirment cette opinion de M. Bernheim, et si nous adoptons le mot nouveau, c’est parce qu’il nous parait plus juste de désigner par un terme analogue les anesthésies générales des hystériques et ces anesthésies partielles qui sont, comme nous le montrerons, du même genre.
Les derniers auteurs qui aient fait une étude spéciale de ce phénomène sont, je crois, M. Paul Richer [11] et MM. Binet et Féré qui ont indiqué, à ce sujet, plusieurs expériences d’une très grande précision:

[11] La grande hystérie, 1885, 724.

1º Si on a suggéré à une somnambule qu’une personne, M. X..., avait disparu, la somnambule ne peut plus le voir à quelque endroit de la chambre qu’il se tienne; mais si on ajoute un objet sur M. X.... un chapeau par exemple, comme il n’est pas compris dans la suggestion, ce chapeau reste visible et parait alors se tenir en l’air. Au contraire, si M. X... tire un mouchoir de sa poche, ce mouchoir reste invisible comme lui. J’ai eu l’occasion d’observer, comme les auteurs le remarquent eux-mêmes, que ces deux phénomènes et d’autres du même genre sont très variables. Pour une somnambule, tout objet ajouté à M. X... devient toujours invisible comme lui, pour une autre il est toujours visible. J’ai vu une fois une personne qui voyait l’objet à moitié, comme coupé en deux, quand il était tenu à la fois par la personne invisible et par une personne visible.
2º La personne ou l’objet que l’on a rendu invisible cache réellement les objets qu’il recouvre, mais la somnambule supplée à la vision de ces objets par une hallucination qui les remplace; c’est d’ailleurs ce que nous faisons journellement pour les objets qui viennent se peindre sur la tache aveugle de la rétine. Cette hallucination peut aller fort loin: j’ai vu une fois un sujet, à qui j’avais suggéré de ne point voir la chambre, la remplacer par l’hallucination d’un autre appartement dont je n’avais pas parlé.
3º L’objet invisible doit être réellement perçu, car il produit quelquefois une image consécutive de couleur complémentaire qui, elle, est visible: fait-on disparaître un papier rouge, le somnambule ne le voit pas, mais, au bout de quelque temps, verra une couleur verdâtre à la même place. Je n’ai pas observé ce phénomène d’une manière assez nette, mais les conditions physiques et morales dont le somnambulisme dépend sont si complexes qu’il ne faut jamais s’étonner de ne pas rencontrer exactement les mêmes phénomènes que d’autres observateurs.
4º «Entre dix cartons d’appartenance semblable, nous en désignons un à la malade somnambule et celui-là seul sera invisible. À son réveil en effet nous lui présentons successivement les dix cartons, celui-là seul est invisible sur lequel nous avons, pendant le somnambulisme, attiré son attention. Si la malade se trompe quelquefois, c’est que le point de repère vient à lui manquer et que les cartons sont trop semblables; de même si nous ne lui montrons qu’un petit coin des cartons, elles les verra tous [12].»

[12] Binet et Féré. Magnétisme animal, 236.

Cette expérience est, à mon avis, capitale et elle nous indique la véritable position de la question. Il ne s’agit plus, en effet, de paralysie de la rétine ni complète, ni partielle, «il faut que le sujet reconnaisse cet objet pour ne pas le voir... La reconnaissance du carton, qui exige une opération très délicate et très complexe, aboutit cependant à un phénomène d’anesthésie; il est donc probable que cet acte se passe tout entier dans l’inconscient... Il y a toujours un raisonnement inconscient qui précède, prépare et guide le phénomène d’anesthésie». Non seulement, cela est probable, mais cela est nécessaire; réveillée, la somnambule ne se souvient plus de ce qu’on lui a commandé, elle ne sait pas qu’il y a un objet qu’elle ne doit pas voir, ni quel est cet objet. Lorsqu’on lui montre le carton, il faut cependant que ce souvenir renaisse et qu’elle reconnaisse ce carton à certains signes, quoiqu’elle n’ait connaissance de rien de cela. Il me semble qu’il y a quelque analogie entre cette question et l’un des problèmes que nous avons étudiés dans le chapitre précédent. Comment une somnambule à qui on a commandé de revenir dans huit jours compte-t-elle ces huit jours, quand elle n’a aucun souvenir de la suggestion? Comment reconnaît-elle un signe dont elle ne se souvient pas et qu’elle paraît même ne point voir? Ces deux problèmes sont identiques et si l’observation du sujet dont nous avons parlé, de Lucie, m’a permis d’apporter quelque lumière sur le premier point, peut-être me permettra-t-elle d’éclaircir un peu le second.

II. Persistance de la sensation malgré l’anesthésie systématisée

Les expériences rapportées précédemment rendent «probable», disaient leurs auteurs, l’existence d’une distinction inconsciente du signe; répétons-les d’abord avec précision. Pendant le sommeil hypnotique complet, je mets sur les genoux de la somnambule cinq cartes blanches dont deux sont marquées d’une petite croix. «Quand vous serez réveillée, lui dis-je, vous ne verrez plus les papiers marqués d’une croix.» Je la réveille le plus complètement possible une dizaine de minutes plus tard, et elle n’a conservé aucun souvenir de mon commandement ni de ce qu’elle a pu faire pendant le somnambulisme. Comme elle s’étonne de voir des papiers sur ses genoux, je la prie de les compter et de me les remettre un à un. Lucie, prend l’un après l’autre trois papiers, ceux qui ne sont pas marqués, et me les remet. J’insiste et demande les autres, elle soutient ne plus pouvoir m’en remettre, car il n’y en a plus. La physionomie ne semble pas altérée et elle paraît bien éveillée; elle peut causer librement et se souvient de tout ce qu’elle fait, même de m’avoir répondu qu’il n’y avait que trois papiers sur ses genoux. Je prends tous les papiers et je les étale sur ses genoux à l’envers, de manière à dissimuler les croix, elle en compte cinq et me les remet tous. Je les replace en laissant les croix visibles, elle ne peut prendre que les trois noms marqués et laisse les deux autres. C’est là l’expérience de MM. Binet et Féré, et il semble naturel d’en conclure comme eux que les croix sont vues et reconnues d’une manière quelconque. On peut rendre cette supposition plus vraisemblable encore en compliquant l’expérience. Je rendors le sujet et lui mets sur les genoux vingt petits papiers numérotés. «Vous ne verrez pas, lui dis-je, les papiers qui portent des chiffres multiples de trois.» Réveil, même oubli et même étonnement de Lucie devant ces papiers qui sont encore sur ses genoux. Je la prie de me les remettre un à un: elle m’en remet quatorze et en laisse six qu’elle a bien soin de ne pas toucher; les six restant sont les multiples de trois. J’ai beau insister, elle n’en voit point d’autres. Ici n’a-t-il pas fallu se souvenir qu’il s’agissait des multiples de trois et voir les chiffres pour reconnaître ces multiples. On peut terminer par cette plaisanterie: suggérer au sujet de ne pas voir le papier sur lequel il y a écrit le mot «Invisible» et de fait c’est ce papier qu’il ne voit pas.

Cet objet qui parait invisible est donc vu. Cela est vraisemblable; mais nous savons, et nous ne sommes pas le seul à le constater, que le sujet est sincère quand il dit qu’il ne le voit pas. La vision de ces objets doit être du même genre, du même niveau que les actes subconscients dont nous parlions tout à l’heure. Démontrons-le. J’ai dit à Lucie pendant le somnambulisme, je ne répète plus la disposition de l’expérience qui est toujours la même, que le Dr Powilewicz, alors présent, vient de sortir. Au réveil, elle ne le voit plus et demande pourquoi il est sorti, je lui dis de ne pas s’en inquiéter. Puis, me mettant derrière elle pendant qu’elle parle, comme il est dit à propos des suggestions par distraction, je lui dis tout bas: «Lève-toi et va-t’en donner la main au docteur.» La voici qui se lève, s’avance vers le docteur et lui prend la main, cependant ses yeux continuent à le chercher. On lui demande ce qu’elle fait et à qui elle donne la main, elle répond en riant – «Vous le voyez bien, je suis assise sur ma chaise et je ne donne la main à personne.» Comme elle se croyait assise et immobile, elle ne sentait probablement pas de raison pour remuer et restait debout et la main tendue. Il fallut lui commander de la même manière de revenir à sa place. Naturellement Lucie n’eut aucun souvenir de s’être levée et d’avoir donné la main; mais elle se souvenait de tout le reste, en particulier de la disparition du docteur. Il y avait eu un acte subconscient; mais nous remarquerons que la vision subconsciente du docteur était restée attachée à cet acte malgré sa disparition apparente pour Lucie.
La même expérience peut se faire autrement; c’est la personne disparue maintenant qui lui fait des commandements et lui dit de se lever, de faire des pieds de nez, etc. Le tout s’exécute parfaitement, quoique Lucie soutienne toujours ne pas voir et ne pas entendre cette personne. J’ai même fait à ce propos cette remarque avec un autre sujet, Marie. Les personnes peu connues, qui ne peuvent lui faire aucune suggestion lorsqu’elles sont vues et entendues normalement, prennent un pouvoir analogue à celui du magnétiseur lorsqu’elles sont ainsi disparues. Elles commandent alors au groupe des phénomènes subconscients moins résistant que le groupe des phénomènes conscients. C’est à des phénomènes de ce genre qu’il faut rattacher l’observation de M. Beaunis, que des personnes ainsi disparues peuvent cependant endormir le sujet par des passes [13].

[13] Beaunis. Somnambulisme, 179.

Cela est tout naturel, puisqu’elles sont encore en relation avec ces phénomènes subconscients dont le somnambulisme est, comme nous le verrons, le plus grand développement. D’ailleurs, par un commandement adressé directement et fortement au sujet, on peut lui faire retrouver le souvenir de tous ces commandements qu’il était censé ne pas avoir entendus. En général, on peut, par suggestion, rétablir le souvenir de toutes les sensations qui semblent avoir été supprimées par l’anesthésie systématisée; mais nous retrouverons tout à l’heure, à propos de l’anesthésie générale, cette question du souvenir des phénomènes subconscients.
D’après ces observations qui suffisent maintenant, il est donc vraisemblable au plus haut point d’abord que la sensation supprimée existe encore et ensuite qu’elle se rattache d’une certaine manière aux actes subconscients. L’emploi de l’écriture automatique dont nous avons déjà parlé va apporter ici une vérification définitive. Reprenons nos premières expériences. Lucie ne voit ni les papiers marqués d’une croix, ni les papiers qui portent un chiffre multiple de trois, et me les a pas remis. A ce moment, je m’écarte d’elle, et profitant d’un instant de distraction suffisant, je commande de prendre un crayon et d’écrire ce qu’il y a sur les genoux. La main droite écrit: «Il y a deux papiers marqués d’une petite croix. – Pourquoi Lucie ne me les a-t-elle pas remis? – Elle ne peut pas, elle ne les voit pas.» – Ou bien elle écrit: «Il y a sur les genoux six petits papiers. – Et qu’y a-t-il sur ces papiers? – Des chiffres 6, 15, 12, 3, 9, 18, je les vois bien.» – La même expérience fut répétée en faisant disparaître les multiples de deux, puis les multiples de cinq. J’ai mis ensuite devant elle des papiers marqués d’une lettre et j’ai fait disparaître les voyelles ou les consonnes; puis je me suis servi de papiers marqués de plusieurs traits et j’ai fait disparaître ceux qui en portaient trois; enfin, lui montrant pendant le sommeil des papiers colorés, je lui ai interdit de voir le rouge. Le résultat de ces expériences a été exactement le même que celui des précédentes. Lucie ne voyait aucunement l’objet supprimé; mais le groupe des phénomènes subconscients, que nous ne savons pas encore désigner autrement, répondait par l’écriture automatique qu’il les voyait parfaitement.

Restait à voir si des anesthésies plus étendues présenteraient le même caractère. Pendant le sommeil, je suggère qu’au réveil elle sera complètement aveugle. Au réveil, cécité complète qui, heureusement, ne l’effraye pas trop, car elle invente, comme explication, que la lampe s’est éteinte et que nous sommes tous dans l’obscurité. Une forte lumière projetée directement dans les yeux ne lui fait même pas détourner le regard; ordinairement, en telle circonstance, elle cache ses yeux avec terreur et tombe même en catalepsie. Cette expérience rappelle celle de MM. Binet et Féré, qui ont fait disparaître par suggestion un gong dont le bruit n’était plus alors entendu par la malade et ne provoquait plus la catalepsie. Malgré la cécité apparente de Lucie, j’interroge par les procédés ordinaires l’inconscient qui, lui, prétend voir très clair et désigne par écrit tous les objets que je lui montre.

Je ne parle pas d’autres expériences d’anesthésie systématisée faites sur le sens de l’ouïe ou le sens de l’odorat, en faisant disparaître une odeur ou bien le son de la voix de telle personne qui n’est plus entendue consciemment, mais qui peut encore commander des actes inconscients; ces expériences donnent toujours les mêmes résultats. Il me parait plus intéressant d’insister un peu sur les mêmes observations appliquées au sens du tact. L’anesthésie systématisée du toucher peut s’observer de deux manières: ou bien on dit au sujet qu’il ne sentira pas le contact de tel objet parmi une foule d’autres, et les choses se passent comme précédemment. Ou bien on indique une partie du corps du sujet (sur un côté du corps ordinairement sensible) et on déclare que cette partie ne sent plus rien, tandis que le reste demeure sensible. C’est l’expérience que faisait déjà Charpignon [14] quand il se vantait de pouvoir rendre insensible à volonté une main ou un bras.

[14] Charpignon. Physiologie du magnétisme, 282.

Je me souviens de mon étonnement quand M. Gilbert me montra que l’on pouvait tracer un cercle sur le bras droit de Léonie et rendre ce cercle insensible, tandis que le reste du bras demeurait normal. Ici on est plus disposé à croire à une anesthésie réelle: l’anesthésie, dans ce cas, dit-on, n’est pas systématique, elle est partielle: un nerf ne sent plus rien, de même qu’un œil ou une partie de la rétine peut ne rien sentir. Je ne crois pas qu’il en soit ainsi. Le cercle ou l’étoile anesthésique que l’on trace sur le bras ne correspond pas exactement à la zone de répartition superficielle d’un nerf cutané. Ce n’est pas un seul nerf dans son ensemble qui est anesthésié, c’est une portion de l’un, plus une portion de plusieurs autres.
Cette répartition intelligente de l’anesthésie de manière à dessiner un cercle ou une étoile ne peut se faire que par une idée consciente. Pour me répondre correctement quand je l’interroge en piquant son bras, il faut que le sujet sache, même sans regarder, quand ma piqûre entre dans le cercle; il faut donc qu’il la sente. Aussi ne seronsnous pas surpris que l’inconscient nous réponde par écriture automatique qu’il sent très bien ce que nous faisons et qu’il distingue une piqûre, un attouchement, un objet chaud ou froid même sur cette plaque anesthésiée.

Ayant ainsi déterminé l’existence d’une sorte de conscience nouvelle pendant les anesthésies systématisées, j’ai voulu examiner l’étendue de cette conscience, c’est-à-dire le nombre des phénomènes qu’elle pouvait contenir. Reprenons la première expérience; elle n’est pas dramatique et a l’inconvénient de n’amuser ni le public ni les somnambules, mais elle est très précise. Pendant le sommeil, je mets encore les cinq papiers sur ses genoux et je répète le même commandement: «Vous ne verrez pas les papiers marqués d’une croix.» Au réveil, je n’interroge pas Lucie, comme je le faisais précédemment, et je ne lui fais pas enlever les papiers qu’elle voit. C’est le groupe des phénomènes subconscients que j’interroge maintenant le premier, et c’est par actes subconscients que je me fais remettre les papiers qui sont sur les genoux. Les yeux se baissent un instant et la main me tend deux papiers, les deux marqués d’une croix. J’insiste, la main ne bouge plus, enfin elle écrit: «Il n’y en a plus.» J’interpelle alors Lucie – «Donnez-moi les papiers qui sont sur vos genoux.» Elle regarde et me donne sans hésitation les trois papiers qui restent. Ainsi tous les papiers ont été vus, et remis, mais les uns l’ont été par Lucie et les autres par un personnage au-dessous d’elle qu’elle parait ignorer, mais ni l’une ni l’autre ne les a vus tous.
Si la remarque précédente est vraie, et j’ajoute que les expériences n’ont pas été sur ce point aussi nombreuses ni aussi précises que sur le précédent, elle doit avoir cette conséquence: tout phénomène surajouté artificiellement au second groupe sera enlevé à la conscience normale de Lucie constituée par le premier groupe, et on doit faire ainsi l’anesthésie systématisée pour Lucie, en produisant dans le groupe subconscient un phénomène positif. Essayons: pendant le sommeil ou pendant la veille, peu importe, je m’adresse au personnage subconscient par le procédé de la suggestion pendant la distraction: «Vous verrez, lui dis-je, les papiers marqués d’une croix, les multiples de 3, etc.» Le résultat est exactement le même qu’autrefois. Lucie, interrogée la première, ne voit plus ces mêmes papiers. J’avais remarqué que le personnage secondaire ne se servait pas des yeux pour écrire et qu’en général il ne voyait pas; je lui suggère de se servir de ses yeux et de voir clair. C’est ce qui a lieu, mais aussitôt Lucie s’écrie – «Qu’y a-t-il donc, je ne vois plus.» et je suis obligé de la rendormir pour dissiper son trouble. Remarquons à ce propos que nous avons déjà vu des faits de ce genre en étudiant les suggestions posthypnotiques. Les actes subconscients ainsi obtenus ont un caractère général, évident et même nécessaire: ils sont accompagnés, sinon constitués, par une anesthésie systématisée du genre de celle que nous étudions maintenant. J’ai dit à Léonie de me faire un pied de nez; au réveil, elle lève ses mains et les met au bout de son nez sans le savoir; c’est un acte inconscient, soit, mais elle ne voit pas ses mains qui sont devant ses yeux. J’ai dit à N... de lever le bras droit, elle le fait étant éveillée, mais elle ne sent pas son bras en l’air; cependant elle n’a pas ordinairement perdu le sens musculaire de son bras droit. Je compte des nombres, je frappe des coups derrière elles, et elles ne les entendent pas; cependant elles ne sont pas sourdes. Voici un exemple plus net encore: J’avais suggéré un soir à Lucie, pendant le somnambulisme, de venir le lendemain chez M. le Dr Powilewicz à deux heures. Quand elle arriva le lendemain, je ne pus jamais lui faire reconnaître où elle était; elle soutenait toujours être chez elle. Il y a là, sans doute, un acte inconscient par suggestion posthypnotique, mais c’est encore un beau cas d’anesthésie systématisée. Lucie n’avait vu ni la route, ni la maison, ni le cabinet où elle se trouvait; elle suppléait à cette vision absente par une hallucination; nous savons que c’est la règle, mais le fait principal restait l’anesthésie visuelle. J’avais tout simplement suggéré un acte au personnage subconscient et par conséquent la connaissance de la route, de la maison, du cabinet; en même temps, sans le savoir, j’avais enlevé ces connaissances à Lucie en vertu de cette loi de désagrégation mentale qui semble de plus en plus caractériser les phénomènes subconscients.
Toutes ces expériences faites sur tous les sens, soit en provoquant directement l’anesthésie par suggestion, soit en la provoquant directement en commandant une action posthypnotique, nous amènent à cette conclusion: Dans la suggestion d’anesthésie systématisée, la sensation n’est pas supprimée et ne peut pas l’être, elle est simplement déplacée, elle est enlevée à la conscience normale, mais peut être retrouvée comme faisant partie d’un autre groupe de phénomènes, d’une sorte d’autre conscience.

III. Électivité ou esthésie systématisée

On sera sans doute surpris de me voir examiner ici le phénomène qui va faire l’objet de ce paragraphe, car on n’a pas l’habitude de rapprocher l’électivité des somnambules de leurs anesthésies systématisées. Ces deux phénomènes me semblent cependant très voisins ou, pour mieux dire, ils ne sont, à mon avis, qu’un seul et même fait considéré de deux points de vue différents.
Les somnambules sont toujours ou presque toujours électives, telle est l’observation qui a été faite sans cesse depuis l’époque de Mesmer et de Puységur. On entend par là que, dans cet état particulier du somnambulisme, les sujets ne ressentent pas toutes les sensations indifféremment, mais qu’ils semblent faire un choix parmi les différentes impressions qui tombent sur leurs sens, pour percevoir celles-ci et non point celles-là. La plupart des sujets une fois endormis entendent très bien leur magnétiseur et causent avec lui, mais paraissent n’entendre aucune autre personne, aucun autre bruit, pas même celui d’un pistolet que l’on tire auprès d’eux, comme dans les expériences de Dupotet. «Les sons mêmes d’un piano ne sont entendus que si le magnétiseur le touche [15];»

[15] De Lausanne. Principes et procédés du magnétisme, 1819, II, 160.

«les sons ne sont entendus que s’ils sont magnétisés; il faut que le magnétiseur touche l’air ou les touches du piano pour que le somnambule entende les notes qui auront été touchées [16].»

[16] Charpignon. Physiologie magnétique, 79. – Voir aussi Baréty, Magnétisme, 398. – Myers, Proceed., 1882, 255. Ibid., 1887, 538. – Ochorowicz, Suggestion mentale, 404.

«Un bouquet n’a d’odeur que s’il a reçu le souffle du magnétiseur [17].»

[17] Baréty, 284.

«Un sujet ne sent pas les épingles enfoncées dans sa peau, quoiqu’il ait un sens du tact très fin pour se conduire [18].»

[18] Demarquay et Girauld-Teulon. Hypnotisme, 32.

«Le sujet sentira le crayon qui a été touché par le magnétiseur et ne sentira pas le crayon s’il a été touché par un autre [19].»

[19] Ochorowiez. Suggestion mentale, 337.

Ce lien entre le sujet et certaines personnes ou certains objets qui lui permet de les sentir à l’exclusion des autres, a reçu le nom de rapport magnétique, et l’on met une personne en rapport avec le sujet quand on force le sujet à la voir ou à l’entendre. Ce fait du rapport magnétique est très intéressant et très facile à constater: il existait à un degré plus ou moins élevé chez la plupart des sujets que j’ai étudiés. Léonie en premier somnambulisme ne présente guère ce caractère, elle entend et voit tout le monde; elle le présente beaucoup plus fortement en second somnambulisme, car alors elle n’entend que moi et encore seulement quand je la touche. Elle a une électivité plus grande dans tous les états pour ce qui concerne les suggestions, car elle n’obéit jamais qu’à moi. Marie et Rose sont en général plus électives que Léonie; dès l’instant où elles s’endorment, elles semblent perdre la notion du monde extérieur pour ne plus voir, entendre ou sentir que celui qui les a endormies. Marie garde seulement pour les autres personnes un peu de sensibilité tactile, si on peut l’appeler ainsi, car elle éprouve un sentiment de souffrance et de répugnance très marqué quand elle est touchée par une personne étrangère non en rapport avec elle. Rose ne sent jamais rien de semblable. Je ne parle pas ici de Lucie, qui était très peu élective et ne me distinguait des autres personnes que pour m’obéir.

Cet isolement se manifeste de différentes manières; une des plus curieuses et des plus connues est la suivante: si j’ai levé leur bras en l’air dans une position particulière, il est resté immobile, et je le déplace très facilement rien qu’en y touchant. Mais si un autre veut le déplacer, le bras devient subitement raide et résiste violemment au mouvement que l’on veut lui imposer. Le force-t-on à changer de position, il revient comme par élasticité, dès qu’on l’abandonne, à la position où je l’avais mis.
On sait que cette électivité peut être différente dans les différentes parties du corps du sujet. La partie droite peut obéir à un expérimentateur et la partie gauche à un autre. Aucun des deux ne peut dépasser la ligne médiane et pénétrer sur le territoire réservé à l’autre. Je n’ai pas répété souvent cette expérience qui, du moins à ce que j’ai vu, fatigue énormément les sujets.
Cette électivité peut être modifiée par différents procédés qui permettent à un observateur de se substituer à un autre dans les préférences de la somnambule: les uns, pour arriver à ce résultat, emploient l’attouchement du vertex, les autres, les passes, quelques-uns réussissent simplement par la parole. Cette substitution d’un magnétiseur à un autre est tantôt facile, tantôt difficile: pour les sujets que j’ai observés, la personne qui les a le plus souvent endormis est celle qui prend et qui garde le plus facilement cette influence. Quand j’ai endormi fréquemment une personne, aucun autre observateur ne peut se substituer à moi, et je puis facilement la reprendre en ma possession, même si un autre a commencé le somnambulisme. Quand le sujet a été endormi souvent par toutes sortes de personnes, ces substitutions sont faciles pour tout le monde; mais, en général, dans ce cas, toute électivité ne tarde pas à s’effacer.
Il est plus ou moins facile également, sans perdre la domination sur une somnambule, de lui faire entendre une autre personne que l’on veut mettre en rapport avec elle. Avec Rose, cela est très difficile; il faut commander fortement à la somnambule d’entendre M. un tel, et encore, ce rapport ainsi établi dure-t-il très peu. Avec Marie, au contraire, cela est fort simple, il suffit d’une présentation. Elle ressemble à une jeune personne réservée qui attend pour causer avec les étrangers qu’on les lui ait présentés. Il suffit de lui dire: «Marie, voici M. un tel qui vient te dire bonjour,» pour qu’elle le reçoive très bien et continue à l’entendre pendant tout le reste de la séance. Chose curieuse, cette simple parole a suffi pour qu’elle ne craigne plus son contact. Avec Léonie, en second somnambulisme, il faut prendre à la fois la main du sujet et de l’autre côté la main de la personne étrangère. Léonie prétend alors entendre une voix lointaine qui passe au travers de mon corps. «C’est comme dans un téléphone, dit-elle.»

Dans quelques cas plus complexes, on peut établir ce rapport au moyen de la chaîne magnétique, comme disaient les anciens opérateurs. J’ai moi-même rapporté autrefois un exemple de ce genre [20]: plusieurs personnes peuvent se tenir par la main, et, suivant que le magnétiseur, en se cachant et à l’insu du sujet, touche ou ne touche pas la dernière, ces personnes sont ou ne sont pas en rapport avec le sujet.

[20] Les phases intermédiaires de l’hypnotisme. Revue scientifique, 1886, I, 581.

La difficulté est ici de comprendre de quelle manière le sujet apprend que le magnétiseur touche ou ne touche pas les personnes de la chaîne; quant au phénomène du rapport lui-même, il est identique aux précédents.

Ecerpt from pages 293-294:
[translation by Google Translate]
All the observers who have taken care of this partial blindness of hysterics, which seems to take away one eye completely, have noticed with astonishment a very singular fact: the patients claim to see absolutely nothing through the left eye and to be plunged into the darkest night, complete when closing the right eye; but if we leave them with both eyes open, they see, without realizing it, both to the left and to the right. The observations made on this point are summarized in the article published by M. Bernheim, [1] and in the book by M. Pitres [2].

[1] Bernheim. De l’amaurose hystérique et de l’amaurose suggestive, Revue de l’hypnotisme, 1887, 68.
[2] Pitres. Op. cit., 58 et sq.

They are very conclusive and easy to repeat. Here is one of the simplest that I borrow from M. Pitres’ book: “Let us now practice the screen experience. I write a line of letters on the board: a cardboard strip is placed vertically in front of the middle of the patient’s face and the patient is seated opposite the board. With her right eye closed, she declares that she is unable to distinguish the characters written on the board. With her left eye closed, she reads without hesitation the letters placed to the right of the screen. With both eyes open, she reads all the letters, both those on the left of the screen and those on the right.” Other experiments in great number have been made and all have the same conclusion that M. Pitres expresses thus: “Hysterical amblyopia corrects itself, because it is in its nature to exist only in monocular vision. As soon as both eyes are open and act synergistically, the amblyopia disappears and vision becomes normal.” Which amounts to saying: the hysteric is blind in her left eye when she pays attention to it and believes she can see only through this eye; she is no longer blind at all, when she does not think about it and when she thinks she sees everything with the right eye.

[original in French]
Tous les observateurs qui se sont occupés de cette cécité partielle des hystériques qui semble leur enlever complètement un œil, ont remarqué avec étonnement un fait bien singulier: les malades prétendent ne voir absolument rien par l’œil gauche et être plongés dans la nuit la plus complète quand on ferme l’œil droit; mais si on leur laisse les deux yeux ouverts, ils voient, sans s’en douter, aussi bien à gauche qu’à droite. Les observations faites sur ce point sont résumés dans l’article publié par M. Bernheim, [1] et dans le livre de M. Pitres [2].

[1] Bernheim. De l’amaurose hystérique et de l’amaurose suggestive, Revue de l’hypnotisme, 1887, 68.
[2] Pitres. Op. cit., 58 et sq.

Elles sont très concluantes et faciles à répéter. En voici une des plus simples que j’emprunte au livre de M. Pitres: «Pratiquons maintenant l’expérience de l’écran. J’écris sur le tableau une ligne de lettres: une lame de carton est placée verticalement devant le milieu du visage de la malade et celle-ci est assise en face du tableau. L’œil droit fermé, elle déclare qu’elle est incapable de distinguer les caractères écrits sur le tableau. L’œil gauche fermé, elle lit sans hésitation les lettres placées à droite de l’écran. Les deux yeux ouverts, elle lit toutes les lettres, aussi bien celles qui sont à la gauche de l’écran que celles qui sont à droite.» D’autres expériences en très grand nombre ont été faites et ont toutes la même conclusion que M. Pitres exprime ainsi: «L’amblyopie hystérique se corrige d’elle-même, parce qu’il est dans sa nature d’exister seulement dans la vision monoculaire. Aussitôt que les deux yeux sont ouverts et qu’ils agissent synergiquement l’amblyopie disparaît et la vision devient normale.» Ce qui revient à dire: l’hystérique est aveugle de l’œil gauche quand elle y fait attention et qu’elle croit ne voir que par cet œil; elle n’est plus aveugle du tout, quand elle n’y pense pas et quand elle croit voir tout de l’œil droit.

Ecerpt from pages 305-343:
[translation by Google Translate]
VI. Psychological disintegration

The phenomenon which occurs in our consciousness as a result of an impression made on our senses and which results in these expressions: “I see a light... I feel a sting”, is a phenomenon already very complex: it does not it is not only made up of simple raw sensation, visual or tactile; but it still contains an operation of active synthesis and present at each moment which links this sensation to the group of images and previous judgments constituting the ego or the personality. The apparently simple fact which translates into these words: “I see, I feel”, even without speaking of ideas of exteriority, distance, location, is already a complex perception. We have already insisted on this idea when studying automatic acts during catalepsy; we have adopted the opinion of Maine de Biran, who distinguished in the human mind a purely affective life from sensations alone, phenomena conscious but not attributed to a personality, and a perceptual life from sensations united, systematized and attached to a personality.

Psychological Automatism. Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

We can, while attaching to these representations only a purely symbolic value, to imagine our conscious perception as a two-step operation: 1st the simultaneous existence of a certain number of tactile conscious sensations, such as TT’T”, muscular like MM’M”, visual like VV’V”, auditory like AA’A”. These sensations exist simultaneously and in isolation from each other, like a quantity of small lights which would light up in all the corners of a dark room. These primitive conscious phenomena, prior to perception, can be of different kinds, sensations, memories, images, and can have different origins: some can come from a current impression made on the senses, others be brought about by the automatic play of association as a result of other phenomena. But, in order not to complicate a problem which is already quite complex, let us first consider, in this chapter, only the simplest case and suppose main holding that all these elementary phenomena are simple sensations produced by an external modification of the sense organs.
2nd An active and actual operation of synthesis by which these sensations are linked to each other, aggregate, merge, merge into a single state to which a main sensation gives its nuance, but which probably does not resemble completely none of the constituent elements; this new phenomenon is perception P. As this perception occurs at every moment, following each new group, as it contains memories as well as sensations, it forms the idea that we have of our personality and henceforth we can say that someone smells the TT’T” images MM’M”, etc. This activity, which thus synthesizes the various psychological phenomena at each moment of life and which forms our personal perception, should not be confused with the automatic association of ideas. This, as we have already said, is not a current activity, it is the result of an old activity which formerly synthesized some phenomena into a single emotion or perception and which left them with a tendency to occur again in the same order. The perception we are talking about now is the synthesis at the moment when it is formed, at the moment when it brings together new phenomena in a unit at each new moment.
We don’t have to explain how these things happen; we have only to ascertain that they happen thus or, if one prefers, to suppose so and to explain that this hypothesis allows to understand the preceding characteristics of hysterical anesthesias.

Psychological Automatism. Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

In a theoretical man, such as there probably does not exist, all the sensations included in the first operation T T’ T”, etc., would be united in the perception P, and this man could say: “I feel”, with regard to all the phenomena which take place in him It is never so, and in the best constituted man there must be a host of sensations produced by the first operation and which escape the second. I am not speaking only of the sensations which escape voluntary attention and which are not understood “in the clearest point of gaze”; I am speaking of sensations which are absolutely unrelated to the personality and which the ego does not recognize, not to be conscious, because, in fact, it does not contain them. To represent this, let us suppose that the first operation remaining the same, the second only is modified. The power of synthesis can no longer be exerted, at each moment of life, that on a given number of phenomena, on 5 p ar example and not on 12. Of the twelve supposed sensations TT’T” MM’M”, etc., the ego will only have the perception of five, of TT’MVA for example. Regarding these five sensations, he will say: “I felt them, I was aware of them”; but if we talk to him about the other phenomena of T’V’A’, etc., which, in our hypothesis, were also conscious sensations, he will answer “that he does not know what we are talking about and that he does not has known nothing of all this”. Now, we have carefully studied a particular condition of hysterics and neuropaths in general which we have called the narrowing of the field of consciousness. This characteristic is precisely produced, in our hypothesis, by this weakness of psychic synthesis pushed further than usual, which does not allow them to unite in the same personal perception a large number of the sensitive phenomena which really take place in them..

The things being thus, the sensitive phenomena which occur in the mind of these individuals are divided naturally into two groups: 1st the group TT’MVA which is united in the perception P and which forms their personal consciousness; 2nd the remaining sensory phenomena T’M’M”V’V”A’A”, which are not synthesized in the perception P. For the moment we are only concerned with the first group.
In most cases, the phenomena which fall into the first group, that of personal perception, while being limited in number, may however vary and do not always remain the same. The operation of synthesis seems to be able to choose and relate to the ego, consequently to the personal consciousness, sometimes some, sometimes others, the sensations of the tactile sense as well as those of the visual sense; at one point, the perceived group will be TT’MVA, at another, it will be MM’V’AA’.

Psychological Automatism. Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

When things happen in this way, there are indeed at each moment phenomena that are ignored and which remain unperceived, such as M ‘at the first moment, or V at the second; but, on the one hand, these unknown phenomena are not perpetually unconscious, they are only momentarily, and, on the other hand, these phenomena, which are unconscious, do not always belong to the same meaning; they are sometimes muscular sensations, sometimes visual sensations. This description seems to me to correspond to what we have observed in a particular form of narrowing of the field of consciousness by distraction, by electivity or systematized aesthesia, in a word, in all anesthesias with variable limits. The distracted hysterical subject who hears only one person and does not hear the others, because he cannot perceive so many things at the same time and that, if he synthesizes the auditory and visual sensations which come to him from a person, he can do nothing more, the hynoptic who hears everything his magnetizer says and knows everything he does, without being able to hear or smell any other person, the natural sleepwalker who sees his lamp and smells his own movements, but not noticing the other visual sensations forming in his mind, are striking examples of this first form of weakened and restricted synthesis. In these people, in fact, no sensation is perpetually unconscious, it is so only momentarily; if the subject turns towards you, he will hear what you say to him; if I put you in touch with the hypnotized he will speak to you; if the sleepwalker dreams of you, she will see you. In addition, the disappeared sensations do not always belong to the same sense and, if the subject is questioned by a person successively on each of his senses, he will prove to him that he smells very well everywhere and does not apparently have any real anesthesia.
It is to this type, at least I am inclined to believe it, that hysterics without anesthesia must be attached. They are very rare; Mr. Pitres says he met two of them, but I have not had the opportunity to see any. These hysterics must still have the essential characteristic of their illness, the narrowing of the field of consciousness, the diminution of the power of perceptual synthesis; but they have retained the power of successively exercising this faculty over all sensitive phenomena whatever they may be.
For what reason do they perceive at a time such a group of sensations rather than another? There is no voluntary choice here as in attention, because, for such a choice to be possible, there must first have been a general perception of all sensitive phenomena, then a reasoned elimination. The electivity is only apparent here, it is due to the automatic development of such or such a sensation which is repeated more frequently, which associates more easily with such or such another. When a hysteric looks at a person, she will rather hear the words of that person than the words of another, because the sight of the speaking mouth, of the gestures, of the attitude, is associated with the words spoken by that person, and not with the words spoken by others. A sleepwalker who does her housework will more easily see her falling lamp than she will see a stranger in the room, because the sight of the lamp combines with the sight of other household objects and fills this small field of consciousness, without leaving room for the image of the foreigner. In other cases, a feeling remains dominant and brings those related to it, because it dominated in a moment of still greater shrinkage of the field of consciousness reduced almost to unity. At the start of hypnotism, the semi-cataleptic subject can perceive only one sensation; that of the magnetizer is essential, because he is present, he touches the hands, he speaks to the ear, etc. The field of consciousness widens a little; but it is always the thought of the magnetizer which retains its supremacy and which directs the associations towards this or that other sensation. In all these cases, systematized aesthesia is a form of this automatism which brings together in the same perception the sensations having between them some affinity, some unity. The current activity, by a kind of laziness, does little more than continue or repeat the syntheses already made in the past.

Psychological Automatism. Fig. 7.
Fig. 7.

But things can turn out quite differently. The weak power of synthesis can often be exerted in the same direction, unite in the perception of sensations always of the same species and lose the habit of bringing together the others. The subject makes more use of visual images and rarely addresses the images of touch; if its power of synthesis decreases, if it can only bring together three images, it will completely renounce perceiving the sensations of such or such a species. At the beginning, they lose them momentarily, and he can find them again; but soon the perceptions which allowed him to know these images not being made, he can no longer, even if he tries it, relate to the synthesis of the personality the sensations which he has let escape. He thus gives up, without realizing it, sometimes the sensations which come from a part of the cutaneous surface, sometimes the sensations of an entire side of the body, sometimes the sensations of an eye or an ear. It is still the same psychic weakness, but this time it results in a much clearer and more material symptom, in a permanent anesthesia with a fixed limit of the arm, the eye or the ear. The subject you are questioning can only tell you what he perceives and cannot talk to you about the sensations that are happening in him without knowing it, since he never perceives them again.

Why does the anesthesia localize in certain ways? We suspect it in some cases, we hardly guess it in others. Hysterics are more likely to lose tactile sensitivity, because it is the least important, not psychologically, but practically. At the beginning of life, the tactile sense is used to acquire almost all notions; but later, thanks to acquired perceptions, the other senses almost always replace it. These people tend to lose sensitivity on the left side rather than on the right side, probably because they use that side less often. I thought I noticed that there are parts of the body, fingertips, lips, etc., to which they retain sensitivity longer than others, probably because the sensations they provide are particularly useful or pleasant. A hysterical woman I observed had lost sensitivity to her limbs, but retained sensitive bands in all her joints: this may have favored her movements. But if we consider the scattered islets of anesthesia that some subjects have on the skin, we do not know enough about the variations in local sensations, their similarities and their differences to understand the reasons for these bizarre distributions.
The sensations provided by these anesthetic parts still exist, and it only takes the least of things for the perception which has lost the habit of grasping them to hang up once, if I can put it that way. Force them to think of a visual image usually linked to a tactile image, tell Marie that a caterpillar is walking on her arm and the whole arm becomes sensitive again; only this cannot last, for the field of consciousness has remained very small; it has moved, but it has not grown, and it will be necessary for it to return to the most useful sensations on this subject which does not have enough psychic strength to allow itself to luxury perceptions. It is the same for the sensations of the two eyes which are associated together and complement each other. However weak their power of perception may be, these subjects cannot, however, stop at half a word when the neighboring sensation which is indeed present forms the complete word. The sensations of the right eye, which are kept in the center of the small field of perception as useful and indispensable, bring about the perception of the images provided by the left eye, as soon as there is some reason for taking them up again, such as the he image of a caterpillar on the arm brings up the tactile sense of the arm. But that there is no longer, in the restricted field of perception, an evocative image, that the right eye is closed, or even that the right eye is looking at an object arranged so as to be able to be seen in its entirety, by only one eye, and the sensations supplied by the left eye, too neglected by perception, are not taken up. If I am on Marie’s right and if I speak to her, the people approaching from the left are not seen, although she has both eyes open; if I pass to her left, drawing her attention, she continues to see me with her left eye. Anesthesia seemed to have a fixed limit, but, as there is no absolute separation between these various kinds of anesthesia, it behaves in many cases like a systematized anesthesia with variable limit. It is the importance of the dominant perception which causes the sensation to change and which brings to light, according to the needs, such and such an image, since none had really disappeared.
Perhaps the metal plates, the currents, the passes act the same. It is possible, but, without commenting, I would admit that I doubt it. These processes, which can ultimately lead to the last somnambulism, that is to say a complete widening of the field of consciousness, seem to me to directly increase the force of perception. But no matter what, for one reason or another, the ego now contains the sensations it had lost, it regains them as they were with the memories recorded in its absence. He recognizes a drawing that he has not seen, he remembers a movement that he has not felt, because he has picked up the sensations which had seen this drawing and felt this movement. Complete anesthesias which embrace an entire organ therefore differ from systematized anesthesias only in degree. The same weakness of perception, which causes such a person to neglect a particular image, causes another to neglect almost entirely the images furnished by the left eye, except when they are necessary to supplement those of the right eye, and brings about a third to permanently neglect, so as to no longer be able to find them, the sensations of an arm or a leg.
Without doubt, this is only one way of representing things, an attempt to bring together facts which appear contradictory and consequently unintelligible. This supposition has obvious advantages from this point of view. It explains how certain phenomena can both be known by the subject and not be known by him; how the same eye can see and not see, because it shows us that there are two different ways of knowing a phenomenon: impersonal sensation and personal perception, the only one that the subject can indicate by his conscious language. This hypothesis further explains to us how impressions made on the same sense can be subdivided, because it teaches us that it is not always all the raw sensations of a sense that remain outside personal perception, but sometimes only a part, while the others can be recognized. These explanations seem to summarize the facts with some clarity and that is why we are disposed to consider systematized or even general anesthesia as a lesion, a weakening, not of sensation, but of the faculty of synthesizing sensations in personal perception, which brings about a real disintegration of psychological phenomena.

VII. Simultaneous psychological existences

Let us refer once again to the symbolic figure which enabled us to understand anesthesia and now study it from another point of view. Instead of examining the three or four visual or auditory phenomena VV”AA’ (fig. 8, below) which are united in the personal perception P and of which the subject accuses consciousness, let us now consider in themselves the remaining sensations TT’T”M, etc., which are not perceived by the subject but which nevertheless exist. What becomes of them? Most often they play a well-effaced role; their separation, their isolation makes their weakness. These facts contain a tendency to movement which would take place if he were alone, but they mutually destroy each other and above all they are stopped by the stronger group of other sensations synthesized in the form of personal perception. At most, they can produce these light tremors of the muscles, those convulsive tics of the face, that tremulation of the fingers which give many hysterics a special character, which make it so easy to recognize, as they say, a nervous woman.

Psychological Automatism. Fig. 8.
Fig. 8.

But it is easy enough to promote their development, it suffices for that to remove or reduce the obstacle which stops them. By closing his eyes, by distracting the subject, we reduce or divert in another direction the activity of the main personality and we leave the field free to these subconscious or not perceived phenomena. It suffices then to evoke one, to raise the arm or to move it, to put an object in the hands or to pronounce a word, so that these sensations bring about, according to the ordinary law, the movements which characterize them. These movements are not known to the subject himself, since they occur precisely in that part of his person which is anesthetic for him. Sometimes they take place in limbs whose sensation the subject has completely and perpetually lost, sometimes in limbs with which the distracted subject is not concerned at this moment; the result is always the same. Leonie’s left arm can be made to move without any other precaution than to hide it with a screen, because it is still anesthetic; you can move your right arm by diverting your attention elsewhere, because it is only anesthetic by accident. But, in both cases, the arm will move without her knowing it. Strictly speaking, these movements determined by the unconscious sensations are not known by anyone, because these disaggregated sensations reduced to the state of mental dust, are not synthesized in any personality. They are indeed cataleptic acts determined by conscious sensations, but not personal ones.
If things sometimes happen this way, it is not difficult to see that they are often more complex. Subconscious acts do not always manifest simple impersonal sensations; here they are obviously showing us memory. When the arm of a hysterical anesthetic is raised for the first time to verify partial catalepsy, it is necessary to hold it in the air for a while and to specify the position which one wishes to obtain; after a few tries, all you have to do is lift your arm a little for it to assume the desired position by itself, as if it had understood half a word. Has an act of this kind been done in a determined circumstance, it repeats itself when the same circumstance occurs a second time: I have shown an example of Leonie’s subconscious acts to M. X..., by making her left arm do snaps that she does not suspect; a year later, when Léonie sees this same person again, her left arm is raised and starts to thumb her nose again. Certain subjects, like Marie, are satisfied, when one guides their anesthetic hand, to repeat the same movement indefinitely, to always write the same letter on a piece of paper; others complete the word they were made to begin; others write from dictation the word that is pronounced when they are distracted and do not understand by a kind of systematized anesthesia, and finally here are some, like N..., Léonie or Lucie, who begin to respond in writing to the question put to them. This subconscious writing contains correct reflections, detailed accounts, calculations, etc. Things have changed in nature, they are no longer cataleptic acts determined by simple raw sensations, there are perceptions and intelligence. But this perception is not part of the normal life of the subject, of the synthesis which characterizes it and which is represented at P in our figure, because the subject ignores this conversation held by his hand, just as he ignored the partial catalepsies. It is absolutely necessary to suppose that the sensations which have remained outside the normal perception have in their turn been synthesized in a second perception P’. This second perception is probably composed, it will be necessary to verify it, of tactile and muscular T’M’ images which the subject never uses and which he has definitively abandoned, and of an auditory sensation A” that the subject can grasp, since, in certain cases, he can hear me, but that he has momentarily left aside, since he deals with the words of another person. A second psychological existence has formed, at the same time as normal psychological existence, and with those conscious sensations that normal perception had abandoned in too many of them.

Psychological Automatism. Fig. 9.
Fig. 9.

What, in fact, is the essential sign of the existence of a perception? It is the unification of these various phenomena and the notion of the personality which is expressed by the word: “I or me”. Now this subconscious writing constantly uses the word “I”, it is the manifestation of a person, exactly like the subject’s normal speech. There is not only secondary perception, there is secondary personality, “secondary self”, as some English authors used to say, when discussing the experiments on automatic writing that I had published in the past. No doubt this “secondary self” is very rudimentary at the beginning and can hardly be compared to the “normal self”, but it will develop in a very unlikely way.

Having noticed, not without some astonishment I admit, the secondary intelligence which manifested itself in Lucie’s automatic writing, I had the following conversation with her one day, while her normal self was chatting with another person. “Can you hear me, I said to him? – (She answers in writing) No. -But to answer we must hear. – Yes, absolutely. – So how do you do it? – I do not know. – Does someone have to hear me? – Yes. – Who? – Other than Lucie. – Oh well! another person. Do you want us to give it a name? – No. – Yes, it will be more convenient. – Well Adrienne [1]. – So, Adrienne, can you hear me? – Yes.” – No doubt it was I who suggested the name of this character and thus gave him a kind of individuality, but we saw how much he had developed spontaneously.

[1] There was a little difficulty about the name of this character, he changed his name twice. I do not insist on this trivial detail that I have discussed elsewhere. Revue philosophique, 1886, II, 589.

These denominations of the subconscious character greatly facilitate the experiences; moreover, automatic writing almost always takes a name of this kind, without anything having been suggested, as I have observed in automatic letters written spontaneously by Léonie.
Once baptized, the unconscious character is more determined and clearer, he shows his psychological characters better. He shows us that he is especially aware of these sensations neglected by the primary or normal character; it is he who tells me that I am pinching my arm, or that I am touching the little finger, while Lucie has long lost all tactile sensation; it is he who sees the objects which the negative suggestion has removed from Lucie’s consciousness, who notices and indicates my crosses and my figures on the papers. He uses these sensations that have been abandoned to him to produce his movements. We know in fact that the same movement can be performed, at least by an adult, in different ways, thanks to visual images or kinesthetic images; for example, Lucie can only write by visual images, she bends down and ceaselessly follows her pen and paper with her eyes; Adrienne, who is the second simultaneous personality, writes without looking at the paper, because she uses the kinesthetic images of writing. Each has its way of acting, like its way of thinking.
One of the first characteristics that this “secondary self” manifests and which is visible to the observer is a marked preference for certain people. Adrienne, who obeys me very well and who willingly chats with me, does not bother to answer everyone. Let another person examine this same subject in my absence, as happened, they will not notice either partial catalepsy, or subconscious acts by distraction, or automatic writing, and will come and tell me that Lucie is a normal person, very distracted and very anesthetic.. Here is an observer who has seen only the first self with its shortcomings and who has not entered into relations with the second. According to the observations of MM. Binet and Féré, it is not enough for a hysteric to be anesthetic for her to present with partial catalepsy. Without a doubt, this phenomenon requires one more condition than anesthesia, a sort of bringing the experimenter into contact with the subconscious phenomena. If these phenomena are very isolated, they are provoked by any experimenter, but if they are grouped in personality (which happens very frequently in severely ill hysterics), they manifest preferences and do not obey everyone.
Not only does the secondary self not obey, but it resists the stranger. When I lifted and put Lucie’s arm or Léonie’s arm in the cataleptic position, which presents the same phenomenon, no one can move them. If you try to move it, the arm seems contracted and resists with all its strength; if you bend it with effort, it rises as if by elasticity to its first position. As I touch the arm again, it suddenly becomes light and obeys every impulse. We must remember this elective characteristic which belongs to the subconscious character and which will serve us later to better define its nature.

This personality usually has little will, she obeys my slightest orders. We do not have to insist on this already well-known character: the suggestion is explained in this case, as in the circumstances previously studied. It is produced here, as always, by the smallness, the weakness of this personality grafted next to the first and which is even narrower than it. The only fact to remember, because we already know it, is that these suggestions are executed (in typical cases, the only ones that we consider now) [2] without being known by the subject himself.

[2] See exceptions in the next chapter.

It is a second individual even more suggestible than the first who acts alongside and without the knowledge of the subject we are studying, but who acts according to exactly the same laws.
However, just as the most suggestible individuals have shown themselves capable of resistance and spontaneity, so too the secondary character is sometimes very rebellious. I had some very funny quarrels with this character of Adrienne who was so docile at first and who, as she grew up, became less and less so. He would often reply in a sassy manner and write “No, no”, instead of doing as I commanded him. He was so angry with me one day that he refused to answer me altogether; Partial catalepsy, unconscious acts, automatic writing, everything had disappeared through Adrienne’s simple bad humor. Can we, like certain authors, consider these phenomena of catalepsy in the waking state as purely physiological and muscular phenomena, when we see them suddenly disappear as a result of anger which is manifested by writing? automatic? I was then forced to chat with the normal character, with Lucie, who, quite ignorant of the drama that was going on within herself, was in a very good mood. When I was able to reconcile myself with Adrienne, the cataleptic acts began again as before. Such facts are far from rare and I have observed them on several other subjects.

These resistances of the secondary character prepare us to understand more easily his spontaneous acts, because I was forced to note that there were similar ones. Another subject, Léonie, had learned to read and write fairly well, and I had taken advantage of his new knowledge to make him write a few words or a few lines unconsciously the night before; but I had sent her away without suggesting anything further. She had left Le Havre for over two months when I received the most unusual letter from her. On the first page was a small letter in a serious tone: “she was indisposed”, she said, “more in pain one day than the next, etc., and she signed with her real name “Woman B...”; but on the back began another letter of a completely different style and which I will be allowed to reproduce as a curiosity: “My dear good sir, I have come to tell you that Léonie, all true, all true, makes me suffer greatly, she can’t sleep, she hurts me a lot; I am going to demolish it, it bothers me, I am also sick and very tired. It is from your very devoted Léontine.” When Leonie returned to Le Havre, I naturally asked her about this singular missive: she had kept a very exact memory of the first letter; she could still tell me the content; she remembered having sealed it in the envelope and even the details of the address which she had hardly written; but she didn’t have the slightest memory of the second letter. Besides, I explained this oversight to myself: neither the familiarity of the letter, nor the freedom of style, nor the expressions used, nor above all the signature belonged to Léonie in her waking state. On the contrary, it all belonged to the unconscious character who had already manifested himself to me through many other acts. At first I thought there had been an attack of spontaneous sleepwalking between the time she finished the first letter and the time she sealed the envelope. The secondary character of somnambulism who knew the interest I took in Leonie and the way in which I often cured her of her nervous accidents, would have appeared for a moment to call me for her help; the fact was already very strange. But since then, these subconscious and spontaneous letters have multiplied and I have been able to better study their production. Fortunately, I was able to surprise Leonie once, when she was performing this singular operation. She was near a table and still held the knitting she had just worked on. The face was very calm, the eyes staring upward with a little fixedness, but she did not seem in a cataleptic attack; she sang in a low voice a country round, her right hand wrote quickly and as if stealthily. I began by taking away his paper without his knowledge and I spoke to him; she turned around immediately wide awake, but a little surprised, for in her distracted state she had not heard me come in. “She had spent”, she said, “the day knitting and she sang because she thought she was alone.” She had no knowledge of the paper she was writing. It all happened exactly, as we have seen with the unconscious acts, inadvertently, with the difference that nothing had been suggested.
This form of subconscious phenomena is not as easy to study as the others; being spontaneous, it cannot be subjected to regular experimentation. Here are just a few remarks that chance allowed me to make. First of all, the secondary character who writes these letters is intelligent in his spontaneous manifestations, as in his provoked manifestations. In what he writes, he shows a great deal of memory: one letter contained the story of Léonie’s very childhood; he shows common sense in ordinarily correct remarks. Here is even an example of unconscious insight, as M. Richet would say. The subconscious person noticed one day that the conscious person, Leonie, was tearing up the papers she had written when she left them within reach at the end of the distraction. What to do to keep them? Taking advantage of Leonie’s longer distraction, she started her letter over again, then went to carry it in a photo album. This album, in fact, formerly contained a photograph of M. Gibert who, by association of ideas, had the property of putting Leonie in catalepsy. I took the precaution of having this portrait removed when Leonie was in the house; but the album still retained a sort of terrifying influence on her. The secondary character was therefore sure that his letters put in the album would not be touched by Léonie. All this reasoning was not done in sleepwalking, I repeat, but in the waking state and subconsciously. Distracted Leonie sang or dreamed of a few vague thoughts, while her limbs, obeying a somewhat foreign will, thus took precautions against herself. The second person thus benefits from all his distractions. Léonie walks alone in the streets and recklessly abandons herself to her reveries; when she pays attention to her way, she is quite surprised to find herself somewhere else in the city. The other found it spiritual to bring him to my door. If we warn her by letter that she can return to Le Havre, she finds herself there without knowing how; the other, in a hurry to arrive, made him leave as quickly as possible and without luggage. Finally, let us add, as a last remark, that these subconscious and spontaneous acts have yet another feature of resemblance to the acts provoked; they bring into normal consciousness a particular void, a systematic anesthesia. Leonie having often come to see me, I thought she knew my address well; I was astonished, chatting with her one day while awake, to see that she was completely unaware of him, much more, that she did not know the neighborhood at all. The second character having taken all these notions for himself, the first seemed to no longer manage to possess them.
We cannot terminate this study on the development of the subconscious personality without recalling a fact already pointed out and on which consequently we will not dwell. Subconscious acts and latent sensations may exist during sleepwalking, as during waking, and also develop at this time in the form of a personality. Sometimes she will present the same characters as during the day before, as happens with Lucie; sometimes it will be quite different, as happens with Léonie. These possible complications should not be forgotten.

We have insisted on these developments of a new psychological existence, no longer alternating with the normal existence of the subject, but absolutely simultaneous. Knowledge of this fact is indeed essential to understand the behavior of neuropaths and that of the insane. We have only studied, in this chapter, typical cases, so to speak theoretical, of this duplication, in order to see it in the simplest circumstances and to be able to recognize it later when the cases become more complex. This notion, which is important, we believe, in the study of pathological psychology, does not lack a certain seriousness from a philosophical point of view either. We have become accustomed to accepting successive personality variations without too much difficulty; the memories, the characteristic which form the personality could change without altering the idea of the ego which remained one at all the moments of the existence. It will be necessary, we believe, to set back still further the true nature of the metaphysical person and to consider the very idea of personal unity as an appearance which can undergo modification. Philosophical systems will certainly be successful in coming to terms with these new facts, for they seek to express the reality of things, and one expression of truth cannot be in opposition to another.

VIII. Simultaneous psychological existences compared to successive psychological existences

By studying, in certain subjects, this second personality which has revealed itself to us below normal consciousness, we cannot help but some surprise. We do not know how to explain the rapid and sometimes sudden development of this second consciousness. If it results, as we have supposed, from the grouping of images that have remained outside normal perception, how could this systematization have taken place so quickly? The second person has a character, preferences, whims, spontaneous acts: how, in a few moments, has she acquired all this? Our astonishment will cease if we are to notice that this form of consciousness and personality does not exist now for the first time. We have already seen her somewhere and we have no difficulty in recognizing an old acquaintance: she is quite simply the character of sleepwalking which manifests itself in this new way during the waking state.


It is memory which establishes the continuity of psychological life, it is this which has enabled us to establish the analogy of various somnambulic states, so it is again this which will bring the subconscious existence which takes place closer together, during the day before the subject, of the alternating existence which characterizes somnambulism. We can show in fact: 1st that the subconscious phenomena during waking contain the memories acquired during sleepwalking, and 2nd that we find during sleepwalking the memory of all these acts and all these subconscious sensations.
1st The first point could already be considered as demonstrated by the study we have made of post-hypnotic suggestions. The subject sometimes executes all the suggestion without knowing it, as we saw Lucie do, but, in other cases, he makes, at least in this way, all the calculations, all the remarks necessary to correctly execute what was ordered from him. When the suggestion is attached to a point of reference, it is the unconscious person who keeps the memory of this signal: “You told me to do such and such when the hour strikes”, Lucie writes automatically after waking up from sleepwalking.. It is also she who recognizes this signal which the normal person does not care about. “There is a stain on this paper at the top and to the left,” Adrienne wrote of the portrait experience. It is she who combines the procedures in these unconscious deceptions so curious that Mr. Bergson had pointed out [3].

[3] Bergson. La simulation inconsciente. Revue philosophique, 1886, II, 525.

When there is a calculation to be made, it is again this same character who takes care of it, who counts the noises I make with my hands, or makes the additions that I have ordered. Lucie’s automatic writing confirms this at every moment. Mr. Gurney [4] relates that he had ordered a subject to do an act in ten days and that he questioned him the next day using the spiritualists’ planchette (this is a process in my opinion very useless, including the English are almost always used to trigger automatic writing).

[4] Gurney. Proceed. S. P. R, 1887, 294.

This subject, who consciously did not remember any suggestion, wrote, without knowing it, that it was still necessary to wait nine days; the next day he wrote that he would do the deed in a week. I wanted to repeat the experiment and I obtained a different result, but just as demonstrative. I suggest Rose, while sleepwalking, write me a letter in forty-two days, then wake him up. The next day, without putting her back to sleep, I ask her, according to the procedure already described for distraction, when she will write to me. I thought she was going to write, like Mr. Gurney’s subject “in forty-one days”, but she simply wrote: “October 2”. And, in fact, she was right, it had been a good forty-two days and the subconscious character had just done the math. The suggestion became a simple suggestion with an unconscious point of reference which, moreover, was carried out very correctly.
When it is necessary to suppress the sight of an object to the conscious character, in the experience of negative hallucination or systematized anesthesia, it is again our second character who takes care of it. He takes for himself the sight of this object of which he retains the memory and, consequently, prevents the primary character from bringing these sensations together in his ordinary perception. Here is an example which summarizes all these phenomena. I ordered Lucie one evening, during the sleepwalking state, to come the next day at three o’clock to Dr. Powilewicz. She did indeed arrive the next day around half-past three: but when she spoke to me on entering, she seemed to experience a singular hallucination; she thought she was at home, took the cabinet furniture for her own and maintained that she had not gone out all day. Adrienne, whom I questioned then answered sensibly in writing that, on my order, she had dressed at three o’clock, that she had gone out and that she knew very well where she was. The memory of the suggestion, the recognition of the signal, the commanded act, the systematic anesthesia, everything depended on the second character who carried out my orders during the vigil below the conscious person, as he would have done during sleepwalking himself. In short, the post-hypnotic suggestions establish a very clear link between the first somnambulism and the second simultaneous existence.
But the suggestions only form a small part of the memories of sleepwalking, and the subconscious writing still shows the memory of all the other incidents. Here’s an easy-to-repeat experiment Mr. Gurney [5] describes.

[5] Proceed. S. P. R., 1887, 294.

During the sleepwalking state, he chats with a subject and tells him some story, then he wakes him up completely. At this moment, the subject has completely lost the memory of what has just been said to him, but if he puts his hand on “the planchette” and lets it write apparently at random, we will read the story on the paper, complete of this story that the subject claims to ignore and that he cannot tell, even if he is offered a sovereign to do so. Here are similar facts: For various experiments I had asked N.... while she was sleepwalking, to draw in pencil some small drawings, and she had sketched a house, a small boat with a sail and a figure in profile with a long nose. Once awake, she has no memory of it all and talks about something else entirely; but her hand, which has picked up the pencil, begins to draw on a paper without her knowing it. N... finally noticed it and, taking the paper, said to me: “Here, look at what I have drawn: a house, a boat and a head with a long nose; what took me to draw this?” I had shown V..., while sleepwalking, a small dog on her knees and she had caressed it with great joy. When she was awakened, I noticed that she had a weird movement of her right hand which seemed to still be stroking something on her knees; she had to be put back to sleep to get rid of this idea of the little dog, which persisted in the second consciousness. We had made the mistake of talking about spiritualism in front of Leonie while she was sleepwalking. When she woke up, she kept various subconscious movements, trembling of the hand, as if she wanted to write, and singular movements of the head and the eyes which seemed to seek something under the furniture: the second person was still thinking of spirits. It is unnecessary to cite other examples; it suffices to recall that with a subject presenting to a high degree automatic writing, like Lucie, one can continue by this means, during the day before, all the conversations started during the somnambulism.
We have already observed that, during the sleepwalking itself, the subject can sometimes rediscover the memory of certain states forgotten during the vigil and yet distinct from the hypnotic state, the memory of certain dreams, of some delusions and sometimes of crises. ‘hysteria. So we will not be surprised if the subconscious writing also contains these memories. While Léonie has forgotten her natural sleepwalking, her nightmares and her crises, when she is awake, her automatic handwriting which marks Adrienne will tell us all the incidents of these kinds of crises. This is a very natural fact which results too simply from the preceding phenomenon for me to insist on it.
Another consequence of this recollection is that the subconscious person has completely the characteristic and the paces which characterize sleepwalking itself. The subjects, when they write unconsciously, take the same names that they have already taken in such and such a hypnotic state: Adrienne, Léontine, Nichette, etc. They show, in acts of this kind, the same electivity as during somnambulism. If the unconscious acts, if the partial catalepsy can only be provoked by me on Lucie or Leonie, it is because, being asleep in a daze, they also obey only me alone. Finally, the nature of intelligence during somnambulism has the greatest influence on the nature of the unconscious act. Lem has no memory during sleepwalking, so cannot perform post-hypnosis suggestions when due. The unconscious acts of N... are childish, like the very character of N. 2 or Nichette, but, as she has a great memory, these unconscious acts can be obtained at any time with great precision. Here is an observation made by chance on this subject, which is nonetheless curious. In the first studies that I had made on N.... I had observed a very great aptitude for suggestions by distraction in the waking state; I then ceased these experiences and lost sight of this person for several months. When I saw her again, I wanted to try these same suggestions without prior sleepwalking, but they did not have the same result as before. The subject, who was talking to another person, did not turn around when I commanded him something and seemed not to hear me: there was therefore the systematic anesthesia necessary for the subconscious act, but this act was not not executed. I then had to put the subject to sleep, but even in somnambulism, N’s demeanor remained so unique that I no longer recognized the characters studied some time before. The subject heard me badly or did not understand what I was saying to him: “What is the matter with you today? I tell him at the end. – I can’t hear you, I’m too far away. – And where are you? – I am in Algiers on a large square, I must be made to come back.” The return was not difficult: we know these journeys of sleepwalkers by hallucination. When she arrived, she heaved a sigh of relief, straightened up and began to speak as before. “Will you explain to me now, I said, what you were doing in Algiers? – It’s not my fault; it is M. X... who sent me there a month ago; he forgot to bring me back, he left me there... Earlier you wanted to order me, make me raise my arm (that was the suggestion I had tried to make the day before), I was too far away, I couldn’t obey”. Checking this out, this singular story was true: another person had put this subject to sleep in the interval between my two studies, had caused various hallucinations, among others that of a trip to Algiers; not attaching sufficient importance to these phenomena, she had awakened the subject without removing the hallucination. N.... the awake person, had remained apparently normal; but the subconscious personage who was in her retained more or less latent the hallucination of being in Algiers. And when, without prior somnambulism, I wanted to give him commands, he heard but did not believe he had to obey. The hallucination once removed, everything went as before. A modification in intelligence during sleepwalking had therefore brought, even two months later, a corresponding modification in the subconscious acts, just as the anger of Lucia 2 during sleepwalking brings after waking up the bad mood manifested by the automatic writing.

2nd Another consideration, to which we can now pass, brings these two states closer together, is that the subconscious acts have a sort of hypnotizing effect and by themselves contribute to inducing somnambulism. I had already noticed that two subjects especially, Lucie and Léonie, frequently fell asleep in spite of myself in the midst of experiments on unconscious acts in the waking state; but I had related this sleep to my presence alone and to their habit of somnambulism. The following fact brought me back from my mistake. M. Binet had been kind enough to show me one of the subjects on which he was studying subconscious acts by anesthesia, and I had asked his permission to reproduce the suggestions on this subject by distraction. Things happened quite according to my expectations: the subject (Hab...), wide awake, was chatting with M. Binet; placed behind him, I unwittingly made him wave his hand, write a few words, answer my questions by signs, etc. Suddenly, Hab... ceased speaking to M. Binet and turning to me, eyes closed, continued correctly, by conscious speech the conversation she had started with me by subconscious signs; on the other hand, she no longer spoke to M. Binet at all, she no longer heard him, in a word, she had fallen into elective somnambulism. The subject had to be awakened, who naturally had forgotten everything when he woke up. But Hab... didn’t know me in any way, so it wasn’t my presence that had put her to sleep; sleep was therefore here the result of the development of subconscious phenomena which had invaded and then erased normal consciousness. The fact, moreover, is easily verified. Leonie stays wide awake with me as long as I don’t provoke phenomena of this kind; but when these become too numerous and too complicated, she falls asleep. This rather important remark explains to us a detail which we had noted, without understanding it, in the execution of the post-hypnotic suggestions. As long as they are simple. Leonie performs them without her knowing it, talking about something else; when they are long and complicated, the subject talks less and less while performing them, ends up falling asleep and quickly performs them while sleepwalking. The post-hypnotic suggestion is sometimes performed in a second sleepwalking, not because the subject has been suggested to go back to sleep, but because the memory of this suggestion and the performance itself form a subconscious life so analogous to sleepwalking that, in some cases, it produces it completely.

The subject is now again in somnambulism: the analogy between the states we want to compare will show itself in yet another way. All the authors have noticed that the subject executes the post-hypnosis suggestions on awakening without knowing who gave them to him, but that, in a new somnambulism, he finds this memory [6].

[6] Gilles de la Tourette. Op. cit., 153.

One might think that the subject only remembers the order received during a previous sleepwalking and that there is only a memory from one sleepwalking to another. We can choose suggestions which were executed unconsciously, but whose execution was characterized by a small unexpected detail, and we see that the subject, when we put him to sleep again, has a complete memory of these acts. which have not been known to normal consciousness. It is useless to cite examples: we only have to remember the post-hypnotic suggestions of which we have spoken and whose unconsciousness we noted during the day before. All the subjects repeat, when I put them to sleep again, what they did to obey me and the various incidents which characterized the execution of my commandments.
Everything I just said applies exactly to spontaneous subconscious acts, especially those of Leonie. Sleepwalking in the state of Leonie 2, she keeps a recollection of it. In the letter I mentioned, there was an ignored part of the awakened subject and signed with the name of Leontine. We can now see what this name meant, for this is how she designates herself during the sleepwalking state. She could tell me in effect in this state that she had wanted to write to me to tell me of the disease of the other and recited to me the terms of the letter. An excellent proof, moreover, that acts of this kind are indeed actions of Leonie 2, is that, as we have said, the subject can fall asleep while they are being performed: the same acts are then continued during the sleepwalking without modification. I caught Leonie once, writing a letter unconsciously in the way I have described and I was able to put her to sleep without interrupting; Léonie 2 then continues her letter with much more activity.
It is useless to describe this phenomenon of memory in other subjects, because it remains absolutely identical; but I will move on to a very important remark. Some subjects, like N.... have, from the onset of somnambulism, the memory of all the subconscious acts of the day before, whatever they are, even those which were obtained by anesthesia or by distraction. The subject Mr. Gurney often talks about was this kind. “When he has written a sentence automatically on the clipboard, he ignores it in the waking state, but, asleep, he almost always repeats it without error [7].”

[7] Gurney. Proceed. S. P. R., 1887, 296.

It should not be imagined that all subjects do so, for we would very quickly encounter a number of exceptions to the law which we point out. Lucie does not find in this first somnambulism any memory of her subconscious acts, Léonie, Rose or Marie only find in this same state the memory of a certain number of acts of this kind.

When this happens, when a subject does not find, once in somnambulism, the memory of his subconscious acts of the day before, we will notice that these acts still exist in the same way and that the consciousness continues to present the same duplication. Partial catalepsy on the left side, and unconscious acts by distraction still exist in Leonie during the first somnambulism. Furthermore, these acts seem to remain associated with those which occurred during the previous day and which were not remembered. With Lucie, the subconscious character, when he was writing during the vigil, signed his letters with the name of Adrienne, he still signs them with the same name during sleepwalking and continues to show in these letters the same knowledge and the same memories. During the day before, did I order Leonie an act which was performed without her knowing it during a distraction; she still ignores it when she is now sleepwalking. But if, during this very state, I take advantage of a distraction to order “the same act as earlier”, without specifying more, this act is very exactly reproduced, but still unbeknownst to Léonie 2, see you later, by Léonie 1. When I make speak, either by signs or by automatic writing, this unconscious which still seems to subsist, it can very exactly recount all the other unconscious acts which still remain ignored. It therefore seems that, in this subject, the subconscious acts and the images on which they depend, below somnambulism, a new synthesis of phenomena, a new psychic existence, just as the somnambulist life itself existed below waking.
When things are like this, the subject should be put to sleep more, because the persistence of subconscious acts as well as anesthesia indicates that there is deeper sleepwalking. We know these varied somnambulic states which one obtains sometimes by insensible gradations, sometimes by sudden leaps through lethargic or cataleptic states. Each new state of sleepwalking brings with it the memory of a certain number of these subconscious acts. Léonie 3 is the first to remember certain acts and attributes them to herself. “While the other was talking”, she said of an unconscious act from the day before, “you said take out her watch, I pulled it out for her, but she wouldn’t look at the time...” “While she was chatting with M. un tel”, she said about an unconscious act of sleepwalking, “you told me to make bouquets, I made two, I did this and that...”, and she repeats all the gestures that I have described and which had been completely ignored during the preceding states. Leonie 3 also remembers well the actions which were performed during the complete catalepsy which, in this subject, precedes the second somnambulism. It is to this memory that we alluded at the beginning of this work, to show that the actions carried out in this state were not absolutely devoid of conscience. Lucie who had absolutely no recollection of the subconscious acts in the first somnambulism, nor of the character of Adrienne, takes up these memories in the most complete way in her second somnambulism. We must not therefore deny the relationship between successive existences and simultaneous existences, because the subject does not immediately find, in his first somnambulism, the memory of certain subconscious acts; it is often enough to put him to sleep more for his memory to be complete.

These facts are easily understood, moreover, if we reflect on the conditions already studied for the return of memory. The memory of an act is linked to the sensitivity which served to accomplish it, it disappears with it, remains subconscious as long as this is not linked to normal perception, it reappears when this sensitivity is itself restored. Let’s take an example: while Léonie is wide awake. I put a pair of scissors in her left hand, which is anesthetic; the fingers enter the rings, alternately open and close the scissors. This act obviously depends on the tactile sensation of the scissors, and it is unconscious, because this sensation is disaggregated, exists apart and is not synthesized in Leonie’s normal perception at this time. I put the subject to sleep and I see that in this new state, he is still anesthetizing his left arm. It is therefore quite natural that the memory of the previous act has not reappeared and remains outside personal consciousness. I put the subject in another state, he has regained the sensitivity of the left arm and he now remembers the act he has just done with the scissors. This is a new, but easy to predict, application of the studies we have made on memory. In this case, several simultaneous subconscious personalities are formed, just as several successive somnambulisms have previously been formed.
I will attach to this remark a fairly well-known fact. when a suggestion has been given to a subject in a particular sleepwalking, it can only be removed by reducing the subject to exactly the same sleepwalking. If I gave a command to Leonie 3, I will not remove it by talking to Leonie 2, or Leonie 1. Why is that? Because my command is part of a certain group, of a certain system of psychological phenomena which has its own life apart from the other psychological systems which exist in the head of this individual. To modify my command, it is necessary to start by reaching this group of phenomena of which it is part, because one does not change an order given to MA, by going to make a speech to MB Sometimes these subconscious psychological systems, formed apart from personal perception, are in small number, two at Lucie or Léonie, only one at Marie, three or four at Rose; sometimes they are, I believe, very numerous. A subject’s sleepwalks are almost never identical to each other, they change especially when they are produced by different experimenters. I would thus explain to myself the misadventures of a somnambulist told by M. Pitres [8].

[8] D’après Gilles de la Tourette. Op. cit., 127.

A bad joke had put her to sleep and suggested to her the desire to kiss the hospital chaplain, then woke her up and left. The suggestion abominably tormented this unfortunate woman, but no one could succeed in taking it away from her, although she was put into hypnotic sleep. It was because we couldn’t reproduce the same hypnotic sleep. The group of psychic phenomena which had received the suggestion always remained outside the state of consciousness which could be provoked and continued to act in the direction it had taken. This remark, which shows us different subconscious existences like different somnambulisms, is not of great theoretical importance, but is often very useful in practice.

Psychological Automatism. Fig. 10.
Fig. 10.

These relations between the subconscious and simultaneous existences on the one hand, and the various successive sleepwalking on the other hand, are obviously complicated and perhaps, despite all my efforts, difficult to understand. So I once tried [9] to represent these facts by a schematic figure which unfortunately did not seem very clear, perhaps because I had tried to include too many things.

[9] Les actes inconscients et la mémoire pendant le somnambulisme. Revue philosophique, 1888, I, 279.

Let us now try to represent the result of these observations in a different and, I hope, simpler way. The conscious life of one of these subjects, Lucie for example, seems to be made up of three parallel currents one under the other. When the subject is awake, the three currents exist: the first is the normal consciousness of the subject speaking to us, the other two are groups of sensations and acts more or less associated with each other, but absolutely ignored by the person who is speaking to us. When the subject is asleep in the first somnambulism, the first current is interrupted and the second emerges, he shows himself in broad daylight and makes us see the memories he has acquired in his underground life. If we pass to the second somnambulism, the second current is interrupted in its turn, to leave alone the third which then forms the entire conscious life of the individual, in which we no longer see either anesthesia or subconscious acts. Upon awakening the upper currents reappear in reverse order. The figure would have to be complicated to represent other subjects who have more sleepwalking states, natural somnambulisms, hysterical attacks, etc., but the general arrangement could, I believe, remain the same.

IX. Relative importance of the various simultaneous existences

A truth must never be exaggerated under penalty of turning into an error: that subconscious life resembles sleepwalking life, this is obvious: that it is absolutely identical to sleepwalking and can be assimilated to it, this is what we cannot admit. Léonie 2, the somnambulist, talkative, petulant, childish character, cannot exist complete and as is below Léonie 1, this elderly woman, calm and silent. This mixture would lead to perpetual delirium. Also, the sleepwalking character who has the absent sensitivities would still complement the normal character and leave him with no visible paralysis. Here is a detail that my brother told me about it. A hysterical woman with anesthetic legs, Witt.... rests her feet on a ball of hot water and, feeling nothing, does not notice that the water is too hot and burns her feet. This subject, however, contained a second personality which manifested itself perfectly by subconscious signs or in a profound somnambulism and which then had tactile sensitivity. When questioned, this second character claimed to have felt the pain in his feet very well. “Well then why didn’t you pull the legs? – I do not know [10].”

[10] See in this connection the very interesting experiments of M. Binet, in the article of which I spoke above, on the phenomena of subconscious pain. Revue philosophique, 1889, I, 143. The author notes, like me, that these simple pain phenomena produce less movement than the precise sensations; and he gives a reason that seems very correct to me, and that is the simplicity and the lack of coordination of these phenomena. We have already made an allusion to facts of the same kind in the first chapter of this work, p. 61, discussing Bain’s theories.

It is obvious that the second figure who possesses the tactile sensitivity of the legs was not to exist during waking in the same way as he now exists in deep sleepwalking. In short, the second personality does not always exist in the same way and the relations or the proportions between the different psychological existences must be very variable.
To examine these variations, we can start from a first extreme point: The state of perfect psychological health. The power of synthesis being great enough, all psychological phenomena, whatever their origin, are united in the same personal perception, and consequently the second personality does not exist. In such a state, there would be no distraction, no anesthesia, neither systematic nor general, no suggestibility and no possibility of producing somnambulism, since one cannot develop subconscious phenomena which do not exist. The most normal men are far from always in such a state of moral health, and, as for our subjects, they very rarely succeed. However, for over eighteen months, Lucie remained without anesthesia, without suggestibility and without being able to hypnotize her. Marie is now in a period of this kind, I do not know for how long. It is a relative state of health.
When this perfect health does not exist, the power of psychic synthesis is weakened and lets escape, apart from personal perception, a more or less considerable number of psychological phenomena: this is the state of disintegration. I do not call this the hysterical state, although this state exists constantly during hysteria, for I believe that the state of disintegration is something more general than hysteria and that it can still exist in many years. ‘other circumstances. It is the moment of distractions, of systematized anesthesias, of general anesthesias, of suggestions carried out consciously by the subject. But the disaggregated phenomena still remain incoherent, so isolated that, except for a few which still lead to very simple reflexes, they have, for the most part, no action on the behavior of the individual, they are as if they did not exist. When Witt... burned her feet, there were phenomena of pain somewhere in her, but so elementary, isolated and incoherent that they could at most provoke a few convulsive contractions here and there, but could not directing an overall, coordinated movement, such as spreading and moving the legs. It is in this state that our subjects remain most often, when we do not take care of them and especially when we have not put them to sleep for a long time.
The only changes that occur naturally in this state are the various distributions of anesthesia. So, to take an example, Marie, for several months, oscillated between three forms of anesthesia. 1st It is most often left hemi-anesthetic: the body is divided into two parts by a vertical line passing through the middle. On the right, all general or special sensitivities are preserved, on the left all the sensations of all the senses have disappeared. 2nd After having remained fifteen days or three weeks in this first state, it often passes, without apparent reason, in a second. It is still semi-anesthetic, but in a different way: the body is divided into two parts by a horizontal line passing a little above the breasts, at the level of the shoulders. The whole lower part is absolutely anesthetic; the entire upper part including the head and the special senses (excepting for special reasons the left eye and temple) cover full sensibility. Often it changes again and is felt for some time all over the body, but in an extremely obtuse manner; as if the same amount of sensitivity had spread by halving over a double surface. Other subjects will be able to distribute their sensitivity in another way, by choosing in each direction, to perceive them, certain particular impressions and by abandoning the others. We have seen that electivity and distraction are forms of the narrowing of the field of consciousness and of psychic disaggregation, like anesthesia itself. These are some of the variations which a state of disintegration left to itself will naturally present.

If the person who puts the subjects to sleep approaches them, they experience a very special emotion which makes them feel a change in their consciousness. This is because the subconscious and disintegrated phenomena have grouped together under this excitation, have gained strength and even robbed normal consciousness of some phenomena of which it had retained until then the property. The anesthesia increased: Lucie, who previously heard everyone, can no longer hear me. “I see your lips moving”, she said, “but I can’t hear what you are saying.” It is because the subconscious character who formed took my words for him at that moment. Suggestibility has also increased, but it is exercised in two ways, sometimes provoking the conscious acts of the first character, sometimes the acts of the second ignored by the first; it is the moment of partial catalepsy, of suggestions by distraction and of automatic writing. This is the state in which the spiritualists are so happy to see their mediums, in order to evoke the spirits through the intermediary of the disaggregated phenomena. This state corresponds fairly well, it seems to me, to that which has already been described under the name of somnovigil or sleepwalking [11].

[11] Beaunis. Somnambulisme provoqué, 166.

We criticized this name, saying that it was not from the day before. Obviously, if the word awake is understood to be an absolutely normal psychological state, the subject is not in a normal awake state. We are not in the habit, when we are wide awake, to walk or write without knowing it; but it should not be concluded from this that the subject is in a state of complete hypnotic sleep. Mr. Beaunis [12] gives the proof very well: it is that there is continuity of memory between the normal vigil and the words of the subject in this state he will remember indefinitely a part of what he did he was therefore at least partly in the standby state.

[12] Beaunis. Somnambulisme provoqué, 166.

But the other part of his being whose existence and characters we have abundantly shown and which is now manifest, is indeed in somnambulism, as is shown by another continuity of memories which we have just studied. But here again the somnambulic state is not complete. The second character has a little hearing which he delighted with the first, he feels the touch and the movements; but he does not see, at least usually, he does not move very easily and above all he does not speak or very hardly, all things that he could do during complete sleepwalking. It is therefore a half-somnambulism like a half-wake, and M. Ch. Richet had obviously found the right word, which we will keep to designate this state, when he called it a hemi-somnambulism [13].

[13] Ch. Richet. Les mouvements inconscients, dans l’hommage à Chevreul, 93.

The previous state is a transient and so to speak fragile state which oscillates between a more perfect wakefulness and a complete sleepwalking.
Let us excite these systems of subconscious ideas a little more, or make this unsteady first personality disappear by some sort of fatigue, and we arrive at true somnambulism. The first personality no longer exists, but the second personality is enriched at the expense of the first; it has now taken, in addition to the phenomena which were proper to it, those which belonged to the other synthesis; she sees, she moves, she speaks as she wants. She remembers her previous humble existence: “It was I who did this, who felt this” but she does not understand how she could neither move nor act just now, because she does not realize of the change that has occurred. After somnambulism, the first personality reappears and the second diminishes without disappearing entirely. This persists for a longer or shorter time depending on its strength and the post-hypnosis suggestions made to it; it gets up from time to time to accomplish them, then it decreases still further so as to occupy only the small space left to it by anesthesia during the state of disintegration which is now reestablished. If the return to health were complete, it would disappear entirely and there would be a new restoration of psychic unity which would undoubtedly take place around another center, but which would be analogous, for the extent of the field of consciousness, and for independence, to complete sleepwalking. Let us try, in a new figure a little less schematic than the previous one, to represent these relative extents of the various personalities, assuming for simplicity that there are only two.

Psychological Automatism. Fig. 11.
Fig. 11.

The problem of the relations between the successive secondary personality during sleepwalking and the simultaneous secondary personality during waking may be presented in a more precise manner and take a particular form: we know that, during complete sleepwalking, the second person has memory, not only from her own actions during previous sleepwalking, or even from acts she did during hemi-sleepwalking below primary consciousness, but even from actions consciously performed during waking by the first person, by “the other”, as the somnambulists say. Since this somnambulist personality already exists during the hemi-somnambulism under the consciousness of the day before, is it not natural that it already has at this moment the knowledge of the acts performed above it by the ordinary personality? I had been struck by this reasoning and, in my first articles on this subject, I had admitted, as a kind of law, that the first personality completely ignored the second acting below it, but that the latter knew the first very well; I even used this remark to explain the memory of the day before during sleepwalking. Mr Gurney, who soon after published studies on the same problem, still accepted this law, but began to have reservations [14].

[14] Proceed. S. P. R., 1887, 320.

“In many cases”, he said, “it is not at all obvious that the second personality has exact knowledge of the first when it acts above it.” Not only do I now recognize the correctness of Mr. Gurney’s reserves, but I am prepared to increase them further.
We must not give in to this illusion which leads us to identify the second personality during sleepwalking with the second subconscious personality during hemi-somnambulism. It has, in the first state, when it is complete, knowledge and memories which are due to the sensitivities which it has recovered; she remembers the actions of the day before, because she took over the sensibilities of the day before, in addition to her own. But when she was rudimentary or flawed next to normal consciousness, she didn’t have those sensitivities and didn’t have to have full knowledge of what the first character was doing. When Lucy 1 or Lucy 2, to take an example, exist simultaneously, they generally act on their own, and they ignore each other. If one knew the other, if the images of the tactile sense were associated with the images of the visual sense, a common consciousness for the benefit of one of the two people would be reconstituted, which does not seem to take place.
One of the great difficulties of observation, when we want to verify these things, is that it is not possible to question the second personality on any fact, without thereby giving him knowledge of it and without taking away from the primary personality. “The subconscious character”, said Mr. Gurney [15], “however, hears signals, describes objects from the outside world about which he is asked to speak.”

[15] Proceed., 1887, 317.

No doubt, but it is easy to verify that at this moment, the first personality ignores these signals and no longer sees these objects; when the normal ego really continues to see something, it is not at all certain that the abnormal ego also sees it at the same time; we no longer dare to conclude, like Mr. Gurney, that there is a difference between the two personalities and that one knows the other without being known by her: the situation must be the same for both.

We must not forget, moreover, that we are only talking in this chapter of the simplest cases of disaggregation, the most theoretical in a way. It is easy to observe a very large number of varieties and complications in which the two characters can more or less know each other and react to each other. We now avoid entering into the study of these complications.

The examination of the schematic figure that we have just studied suggests to us yet another new reflection which is of interest. We immediately notice that the representation of the complete somnambulic state is absolutely identical to that of perfect health, these two states also being characterized by the reunion of all psychological phenomena in one and the same consciousness. From a certain point of view this resemblance should not surprise us and agrees quite well with previous studies which have shown us the absolute integrity of sensitivity and will in complete somnambulism, as in perfect health. But, on the other hand, this resemblance raises a difficulty. Do we not know, in fact, that, during sleepwalking, memory too is intact and embraces all periods of life, even the periods of waking, while waking and the normal state would be characterized by forgetting sleepwalking states. How, if this difference in the state of memory is real, could these two states of complete sleepwalking and perfect health be the same? When two psychological states are absolutely similar, the memory must be reciprocal.
Well, maybe it really is, maybe the state of perfect health, when it exists, brings about the full recollection of sleepwalking itself. If our subjects, after waking up, do not retain the memory of their sleepwalking, it is because they do not return to perfect health and that they always retain more or less visible anesthesias and distractions; if they were radically cured, if they widened their field of consciousness to embrace definitively in their personal perception, all the images, they would have to find all the memories which depend on them and to remember completely even their periods of crisis or somnambulism. I must say that I have never noticed this return of memory and that this remark is based on the examination of a schematic figure and on reasoning more than on experience. Perhaps we could have seen something like this during the times when Lucie seemed completely healed; but I was not thinking of this problem then and I did not do any research on this point. I also believe that they would have had a negative result, I have never seen these hysterical people find after their apparent recovery the memory of their second existence. Perhaps these women who are still young, and in whom slight signs of hysteria reappear from time to time, never have a sufficiently complete cure for this phenomenon to be manifest.



[original in French]
VI. La désagrégation psychologique

Le phénomène qui se produit dans notre conscience à la suite d’une impression faite sur nos sens et qui se traduit par ces expressions: «Je vois une lumière... Je sens une piqûre», est un phénomène déjà fort complexe: il n’est pas constitué seulement par la simple sensation brute, visuelle ou tactile; mais il renferme encore une opération de synthèse active et présente à chaque moment qui rattache cette sensation au groupe d’images et de jugements antérieurs constituant le moi ou la personnalité. Le fait, simple en apparence, qui se traduit par ces mots: «Je vois, je sens», même sans parler des idées d’extériorité, de distance, de localisation, est déjà une perception complexe. Nous avons insisté déjà sur cette idée en étudiant les actes automatiques pendant la catalepsie; nous avons adopté l’opinion de Maine de Biran, qui distinguait dans l’esprit humain une vie purement affective des sensations seules, phénomènes conscients mais non attribués à une personnalité, et une vie perceptive des sensations réunies, systématisées et rattachées à une personnalité.

Psychological Automatism. Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Nous pouvons, tout en n’attachant à ces représentations qu’une valeur purement symbolique, nous figurer notre perception consciente comme une opération à deux temps: 1º l’existence simultanée d’un certain nombre de sensations conscientes tactiles, comme TT'T", musculaires comme MM'M", visuelles comme VV'V", auditives comme AA'A". Ces sensations existent simultanément et isolément les unes des autres, comme une quantité de petites lumières qui s’allumeraient dans tous les coins d’une salle obscure. Ces phénomènes conscients primitifs, antérieurs à la perception peuvent être de différentes espèces, des sensations, des souvenirs, des images, et peuvent avoir différentes origines: les uns peuvent provenir d’une impression actuelle faite sur les sens, les autres être amenés par le jeu automatique de l’association à la suite d’autres phénomènes. Mais, pour ne pas compliquer un problème déjà assez complexe, ne considérons d’abord, dans ce chapitre, que le cas le plus simple et supposons maintenant que tous ces phénomènes élémentaires soient de simples sensations produites par une modification extérieure des organes des sens.
2º Une opération de synthèse active et actuelle par laquelle ces sensations se rattachent les unes aux autres, s’agrègent, se fusionnent, se confondent dans un état unique auquel une sensation principale donne sa nuance, mais qui ne ressemble probablement d’une manière complète à aucun des éléments constituants; ce phénomène nouveau, c’est la perception P. Comme cette perception se produit à chaque instant, à la suite de chaque groupe nouveau, comme elle contient des souvenirs aussi bien que des sensations, elle forme l’idée que nous avons de notre personnalité et dorénavant on peut dire que quelqu’un sent les images TT'T" MM'M", etc. Cette activité, qui synthétise ainsi à chaque moment de la vie les différents phénomènes psychologiques et qui forme notre perception personnelle, ne doit pas être confondue avec l’association automatique des idées. Celle-ci, comme nous l’avons déjà dit, n’est pas une activité actuelle, c’est le résultat d’une ancienne activité qui autrefois a synthétisé quelques phénomènes en une émotion ou une perception unique et qui leur a laissé une tendance à se produire de nouveau dans le même ordre. La perception dont nous parlons maintenant, c’est la synthèse au moment où elle se forme, au moment où elle réunit des phénomènes nouveaux en une unité à chaque instant nouvelle.
Nous n’avons pas à expliquer comment ces choses se passent; nous avons seulement à constater qu’elles se passent ainsi ou, si l’on préfère, à le supposer et à expliquer que cette hypothèse permet de comprendre les caractères précédents des anesthésies hystériques.

Psychological Automatism. Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Chez un homme théorique, tel qu’il n’en existe probablement pas, toutes les sensations comprises dans la première opération T T' T", etc., seraient réunies dans la perception P, et cet homme pourrait dire: «Je sens», à propos de tous les phénomènes qui se passent en lui. Il n’en est jamais ainsi, et, dans l’homme le mieux constitué, il doit y avoir une foule de sensations produites par la première opération et qui échappent à la seconde. Je ne parle pas seulement des sensations qui échappent à l’attention volontaire et qui ne sont pas comprises «dans le point de regard» le plus net; je parle de sensations qui ne sont absolument pas rattachées à la personnalité et dont le moi ne reconnaît pas avoir conscience, car, en effet, il ne les contient pas. Pour nous représenter cela, supposons que la première opération restant la même, la seconde seule soit modifiée. La puissance de synthèse ne peut plus s’exercer, à chaque moment de la vie, que sur un nombre de phénomènes déterminé, sur 5 par exemple et non sur 12. Des douze sensations supposées TT'T" MM'M", etc., le moi n’aura la perception que de cinq, de TT'MVA par exemple. A propos de ces cinq sensations, il dira: «Je les ai senties, j’en ai eu conscience»; mais si on lui parle des autres phénomènes de T'V'A', etc., qui, dans notre hypothèse, ont été aussi des sensations conscientes, il répondra «qu’il ne sait de quoi on parle et qu’il n’a rien connu de tout cela». Or, nous avons étudié avec soin un état particulier des hystériques et des névropathes en général que nous avons appelé le rétrécissement du champ de la conscience. Ce caractère est précisément produit, dans notre hypothèse, par cette faiblesse de synthèse psychique poussée plus loin qu’à l’ordinaire, qui ne leur permet pas de réunir dans une même perception personnelle un grand nombre des phénomènes sensitifs qui se passent réellement en eux.
Les choses étant ainsi, les phénomènes sensitifs qui se passent dans l’esprit de ces individus sont divisés naturellement en deux groupes: 1º le groupe TT'MVA qui est réuni dans la perception P et qui forme leur conscience personnelle; 2º les phénomènes sensitifs restants T'M'M"V'V"A'A", qui ne sont pas synthétisés dans la perception P. Ne nous occupons pour le moment que du premier groupe.
Dans la plupart des cas, les phénomènes qui entrent dans le premier groupe, celui de la perception personnelle, tout en étant de nombre limité, peuvent cependant varier et ne restent pas toujours les mêmes. L’opération de synthèse semble pouvoir choisir et rattacher au moi, par conséquent à la conscience personnelle, tantôt les uns, tantôt les autres, les sensations du sens tactile aussi bien que celles du sens visuel; à un moment, le groupe perçu sera TT'MVA, à un autre, il sera MM'V'AA'.

Psychological Automatism. Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

Quand les choses se passent ainsi, il y a bien à chaque moment des phénomènes ignorés et qui restent non perçus, comme M' au premier moment, ou V au second; mais, d’une part, ces phénomènes ignorés ne sont pas perpétuellement inconscients, ils ne le sont que momentanément, et, de l’autre, ces phénomènes, qui sont inconscients n’appartiennent pas toujours au même sens; ils sont tantôt des sensations musculaires, tantôt des sensations visuelles. Cette description me semble correspondre à ce que nous avons observé dans une forme particulière de rétrécissement du champ de la conscience par distraction, par électivité ou esthésie systématisée, en un mot, dans toutes les anesthésies à limites variables. Le sujet hystérique distrait qui n’entend qu’une personne et n’entend pas les autres, parce qu’il ne peut pas percevoir tant de choses à la fois et que, s’il synthétise les sensations auditives et visuelles qui lui viennent d’une personne, il ne peut rien faire de plus, l’hynoptisé qui entend tout ce que dit son magnétiseur et sait tout ce qu’il fait, sans pouvoir entendre ni sentir aucune autre personne, la somnambule naturelle qui voit sa lampe et sent ses propres mouvements, mais ne s’aperçoit pas des autres sensations visuelles se formant dans son esprit, sont des exemples frappants de cette première forme de synthèse affaiblie et restreinte. Chez ces personnes, en effet, aucune sensation n’est perpétuellement inconsciente, elle ne l’est que momentanément; si le sujet se tourne vers vous, il va entendre ce que vous lui dites; si je vous mets en rapport avec l’hypnotisé il va vous parler; si la somnambule rêve à vous, elle vous verra. En outre, les sensations disparues n’appartiennent pas toujours au même sens et, si le sujet est interrogé par une personne successivement sur chacun de ses sens, il lui prouvera qu’il sent partout fort bien et n’a pas en apparence de réelle anesthésie.
C’est à ce type, du moins je suis disposé à le croire, qu’il faut rattacher les hystériques sans anesthésies. Elles sont fort rares; M. Pitres dit en avoir rencontré deux, mais je n’ai pas eu l’occasion d’en voir. Ces hystériques doivent avoir encore le caractère essentiel de leur maladie, le rétrécissement du champ de la conscience, la diminution du pouvoir de synthèse perceptive; mais elles ont gardé le pouvoir d’exercer successivement cette faculté sur tous les phénomènes sensibles quels qu’ils soient.
Pour quelle raison perçoivent-elles à un moment tel groupe de sensations plutôt que tel autre? Il n’y a pas ici de choix volontaire comme dans l’attention, car, pour qu’un pareil choix soit possible, il faut qu’il y ait eu d’abord une perception générale de tous les phénomènes sensibles, puis une élimination raisonnée. L’électivité n’est ici qu’apparente, elle est due au développement automatique de telle ou telle sensation qui se répète plus fréquemment, qui s’associe plus facilement avec telle ou telle autre. Quand une hystérique regarde une personne, elle entendra plutôt les paroles de cette personne que les paroles d’une autre, parce que la vue de la bouche qui parle, des gestes, de l’attitude, s’associe avec les paroles que prononce cette personne et non avec les paroles que prononcent les autres. Une somnambule qui fait son ménage verra plus facilement sa lampe qui baisse qu’elle ne verra une personne étrangère dans la salle, parce que la vue de la lampe s’associe avec la vue des autres objets de ménage et remplit ce petit champ de conscience, sans laisser de place à l’image de l’étranger. Dans d’autres cas, une sensation reste dominante et amène celles qui lui sont liées, parce qu’elle a dominé dans un moment de rétrécissement plus grand encore du champ de la conscience réduit presque à l’unité. Au début de l’hypnotisme, le sujet à demi cataleptique ne peut percevoir qu’une seule sensation; celle du magnétiseur s’impose, car il est présent, il touche les mains, il parle à l’oreille, etc. Le champ de conscience s’élargit un peu; mais c’est toujours la pensée du magnétiseur qui garde sa suprématie et qui dirige les associations vers telle ou telle autre sensation. Dans tous ces cas, l’esthésie systématisée est une forme de cet automatisme qui réunit dans une même perception les sensations ayant entre elles quelque affinité, quelque unité. L’activité actuelle, par une sorte de paresse, ne fait guère que continuer ou répéter les synthèses déjà faites autrefois.

Psychological Automatism. Fig. 7.
Fig. 7.

Mais les choses peuvent se passer d’une tout autre manière. Le faible pouvoir de synthèse peut s’exercer souvent dans un même sens, réunir dans la perception des sensations toujours d’une même espèce et perdre l’habitude de réunir les autres. Le sujet se sert plus des images visuelles et ne s’adresse que rarement aux images du toucher; si sa puissance de synthèse diminue, s’il ne peut plus réunir que trois images, il va renoncer totalement à percevoir les sensations de telle ou telle espèce. Au début, ils les perd momentanément, et il peut à la rigueur les retrouver; mais bientôt les perceptions qui lui permettaient de connaître ces images ne se faisant pas, il ne peut plus, même s’il l’essaye, rattacher à la synthèse de la personnalité des sensations qu’il a laissé s’échapper. Il renonce ainsi, sans s’en rendre compte, tantôt aux sensations qui viennent d’une partie de la surface cutanée, tantôt aux sensations de tout un côté du corps, tantôt aux sensations d’un œil ou d’une oreille. C’est encore la même faiblesse psychique, mais elle se traduit cette fois par un symptôme beaucoup plus net et plus matériel, par une anesthésie permanente à limite fixe du bras, de l’œil ou de l’oreille. Le sujet que vous interrogez ne peut vous dire que ce qu’il perçoit et ne peut vous parler des sensations qui se passent en lui sans qu’il le sache, puisqu’il ne les perçoit plus jamais.
Pourquoi l’anesthésie se localise-t-elle de certaines manières? On le soupçonne dans certains cas, on ne le devine guère dans les autres. Les hystériques perdent plus volontiers la sensibilité tactile, parce que c’est la moins importante, non pas psychologiquement, mais pratiquement. Au début de la vie, le sens tactile sert à acquérir presque toutes les notions; mais plus tard, grâce aux perceptions acquises, les autres sens le suppléent presque toujours. Ces personnes perdent plutôt la sensibilité du côté gauche que celle du côté droit, probablement parce qu’elles se servent moins souvent de ce côté. J’ai cru remarquer qu’il est des parties du corps, le bout des doigts, les lèvres, etc., auxquelles elles conservent la sensibilité plus longtemps qu’aux autres, probablement parce que les sensations qu’elles procurent sont particulièrement utiles ou agréables. Une hystérique que j’ai observée avait perdu la sensibilité aux membres, mais conservait des bandes sensibles au niveau de toutes les articulations: cela favorisait peut-être ses mouvements. Mais si nous considérons les îlots disséminés d’anesthésie que certains sujets ont sur la peau, nous ne connaissons pas assez les variations des sensations locales, leurs ressemblances et leurs différences pour comprendre les raisons de ces répartitions bizarres.
Les sensations fournies par ces parties anesthésiques existent toujours, et il suffit de la moindre des choses pour que la perception qui a perdu l’habitude de les saisir les raccroche une fois, si je puis m’exprimer ainsi. Forcez-les à penser à une image visuelle ordinairement liée à une image tactile, dites à Marie qu’une chenille se promène sur son bras et voilà tout le bras qui redevient sensible; seulement cela ne peut durer, car le champ de la conscience est resté tout petit; il s’est déplacé, mais il ne s’est pas agrandi, et il faudra bien qu’il retourne aux sensations les plus utiles à ce sujet qui n’a pas assez de force psychique pour se permettre des perceptions de luxe. Il en est de même pour les sensations des deux yeux qui sont associés ensemble et se complètent réciproquement. Si faible que soit leur puissance de perception, ces sujets ne peuvent pourtant pas s’arrêter à la moitié d’un mot quand la sensation voisine qui est bien présente forme le mot complet. Les sensations de l’œil droit, qui sont conservées au centre du petit champ de perception comme utiles et indispensables, amènent la perception des images fournies par l’œil gauche, dès qu’il y a une raison quelconque pour les reprendre, comme l’image d’une chenille sur le bras amène le sens tactile du bras. Mais qu’il n’y ait plus, dans le champ restreint de la perception, d’image évocatrice, que l’œil droit soit fermé, ou même que l’œil droit regarde un objet disposé de manière à pouvoir être vu tout entier par un seul œil, et les sensations fournies par l’œil gauche, trop négligées par la perception, ne sont pas reprises. Si je suis à la droite de Marie et si je lui parle, les personnes qui s’approchent à gauche ne sont pas vues, quoiqu’elle ait les deux yeux ouverts; si je passe à sa gauche, en attirant son attention, elle continue à me voir de l’œil gauche. L’anesthésie semblait avoir une limite fixe, mais, comme il n’y a entre ces diverses sortes d’anesthésie aucune séparation absolue, elle se comporte dans bien des cas comme une anesthésie systématisée à limite variable. C’est I’importance de la perception dominante qui fait changer la sensation et qui amène au jour, suivant les besoins, telle ou telle image, puisque aucune n’était réellement disparue.
Peut-être les plaques métalliques, les courants, les passes agissent-ils de la même manière. C’est possible, mais, sans me prononcer, j’avouerais que j’en doute. Ces procédés, qui peuvent à la fin amener le dernier somnambulisme, c’est-à-dire un élargissement complet du champ de la conscience, me paraissent augmenter directement la force de perception. Mais, peu importe, pour une raison ou pour une autre, le moi contient maintenant les sensations qu’il avait perdues, il les retrouve telles qu’elles étaient avec les souvenirs enregistrés en son absence. Il reconnaît un dessin qu’il n’a pas vu, il se souvient d’un mouvement qu’il n’a pas senti, car il a repris les sensations qui avaient vu ce dessin et senti ce mouvement. Les anesthésies complètes qui embrassent tout un organe ne diffèrent donc des anesthésies systématisées que par le degré. La même faiblesse de perception, qui fait négliger par telle personne une image particulière, amène telle autre à négliger presque entièrement les images fournies par l’œil gauche, sauf quand elles sont nécessaires pour compléter celles de l’œil droit, et amène une troisième à négliger définitivement, de manière à ne plus pouvoir les retrouver, les sensations d’un bras ou d’une jambe.
Sans doute, ce n’est là qu’une manière de se représenter les choses, une tentative pour réunir des faits en apparence contradictoires et par conséquent inintelligibles. Cette supposition présente, à ce point de vue, des avantages évidents. Elle explique comment certains phénomènes peuvent à la fois être connus par le sujet et ne pas être connus par lui; comment le même œil peut voir et ne pas voir, car elle nous montre qu’il y a deux manières différentes de connaître un phénomène: la sensation impersonnelle et la perception personnelle, la seule que le sujet puisse indiquer par son langage conscient. Cette hypothèse nous explique encore comment les impressions faites sur un même sens peuvent se subdiviser, car elle nous apprend que ce n’est pas toujours toutes les sensations brutes d’un sens qui restent en dehors de la perception personnelle, mais quelquefois une partie seulement, tandis que les autres peuvent être reconnues. Ces explications semblent résumer les faits avec quelque clarté et c’est pour cela que nous sommes disposés à considérer l’anesthésie systématisée ou même générale comme une lésion, un affaiblissement, non de la sensation, mais de la faculté de synthétiser les sensations en perception personnelle, qui amène une véritable désagrégation des phénomènes psychologiques.

VII. Les existences psychologiques simultanées

Reportons-nous encore une fois à la figure symbolique qui nous a permis de comprendre les anesthésies et étudions-là maintenant à un autre point de vue. Au lieu d’examiner les trois ou quatre phénomènes visuels ou auditifs VV"AA' (fig. 8, ci-dessous) qui sont réunis dans la perception personnelle P et dont le sujet accuse la conscience, considérons maintenant en elles-mêmes les sensations restantes TT'T"M, etc., qui ne sont pas perçues par le sujet mais qui existent néanmoins. Que deviennent-elles? Le plus souvent elles jouent un rôle bien effacé; leur séparation, leur isolement fait leur faiblesse. Chacun de ces faits renferme une tendance au mouvement qui se réaliserait s’il était seul, mais ils se détruisent réciproquement et surtout ils sont arrêtés par le groupe plus fort des autres sensations synthétisées sous forme de perception personnelle. Tout au plus peuvent-ils produire ces légers frémissements des muscles, ces tics convulsifs du visage, cette trémulation des doigts qui donnent à beaucoup d’hystériques un cachet particulier, qui font si facilement reconnaître, comme on dit, une nerveuse.

Psychological Automatism. Fig. 8.
Fig. 8.

Mais il est assez facile de favoriser leur développement, il suffit pour cela de supprimer ou de diminuer l’obstacle qui les arrête. En fermant ses yeux, en distrayant le sujet, nous diminuons ou nous détournons dans un autre sens l’activité de la personnalité principale et nous laissons le champ libre à ces phénomènes subconscients ou non perçus. Il suffit alors d’en évoquer un, de lever le bras ou de le remuer, de mettre un objet dans les mains ou de prononcer une parole, pour que ces sensations amènent, suivant la loi ordinaire, les mouvements qui les caractérisent. Ces mouvements ne sont pas connus par le sujet lui-même, puisqu’ils se produisent tout justement dans cette partie de sa personne qui est pour lui anesthésique. Tantôt ils se font dans des membres dont le sujet a perdu complètement et perpétuellement la sensation, tantôt dans des membres dont le sujet distrait ne s’occupe pas à ce moment; le résultat est toujours le même. On peut faire remuer le bras gauche de Léonie sans autre précaution que de le cacher par un écran, parce qu’il est toujours anesthésique; on peut faire remuer son bras droit en détournant ailleurs son attention, parce qu’il n’est anesthésique que par accident. Mais, dans les deux cas, le bras remuera sans qu’elle le sache. À parler rigoureusement, ces mouvements déterminés par les sensations non perçues ne sont connus par personne, car ces sensations désagrégées réduites à l’état de poussière mentale, ne sont synthétisés en aucune personnalité. Ce sont bien des actes cataleptiques déterminés par des sensations conscientes, mais non personnelles.
Si les choses se passent quelquefois ainsi, il n’est pas difficile de s’apercevoir qu’elles sont bien souvent plus complexes. Les actes subconscients ne manifestent pas toujours de simples sensations impersonnelles; les voici qui nous montrent évidemment de la mémoire. Quand on lève pour la première fois le bras d’une hystérique anesthésique pour vérifier la catalepsie partielle, il faut le tenir en l’air quelque temps et préciser la position que l’on désire obtenir; après quelques essais, il suffit de soulever un peu le bras pour qu’il prenne de lui-même la position voulue, comme s’il avait compris à demi-mot. Un acte de ce genre a-t-il été fait dans une circonstance déterminée, il se répète de lui-même quand la même circonstance se présente une seconde fois: j’ai montré un exemple des actes subconscients de Léonie à M. X..., en faisant faire à son bras gauche des pieds de nez qu’elle ne soupçonne pas; un an après, quand Léonie revoit cette même personne, son bras gauche se lève et recommence à faire des pieds de nez. Certains sujets, comme Marie, se contentent, quand on guide leur main anesthésique, de répéter le même mouvement indéfiniment, d’écrire toujours sur un papier la même lettre; d’autres complètent le mot qu’on leur a fait commencer; d’autres écrivent sous la dictée le mot que l’on prononce quand ils sont distraits et qu’ils n’entendent pas par une sorte d’anesthésie systématisée, et enfin en voici quelquesuns, comme N..., Léonie ou Lucie, qui se mettent à répondre par écrit à la question qu’on leur pose. Cette écriture subconsciente contient des réflexions justes, des récits circonstanciés, des calculs, etc. Les choses ont changé de nature, ce ne sont plus des actes cataleptiques déterminés par de simples sensations brutes, il y a là des perceptions et de l’intelligence. Mais cette perception ne fait pas partie de la vie normale du sujet, de la synthèse qui la caractérise et qui est figurée en P dans notre figure, car le sujet ignore cette conversation tenue par sa main, tout aussi bien qu’il ignorait les catalepsies partielles. Il faut de toute nécessité supposer que les sensations restées en dehors de la perception normale se sont à leur tour synthétisées en une seconde perception P’. Cette seconde perception est composée probablement, il faudra le vérifier, des images T'M' tactiles et musculaires dont le sujet ne se sert jamais et qu’il a définitivement abandonnées, et d’une sensation auditive A" que le sujet peut saisir, puisque, dans certains cas, il peut m’entendre, mais qu’il a momentanément laissée de côté, puisqu’il s’occupe des paroles d’une autre personne. Il s’est formé une seconde existence psychologique, en même temps que l’existence psychologique normale, et avec ces sensations conscientes que la perception normale avait abandonnées en trop grand nombre.


Psychological Automatism. Fig. 9.
Fig. 9.

Quel est, en effet, le signe essentiel de l’existence d’une perception? C’est l’unification de ces divers phénomènes et la notion de la personnalité qui s’exprime par le mot: «Je ou Moi». or cette écriture subconsciente emploie à chaque instant le mot: «Je», elle est la manifestation d’une personne, exactement comme la parole normale du sujet. Il n’y a pas seulement perception secondaire, il y a personnalité secondaire, «secondary self», comme disaient quelques auteurs anglais, en discutant les expériences sur l’écriture automatique que j’avais publiées autrefois. Sans doute ce «secondary self» est bien rudimentaire au début et ne peut guère être comparé au «normal self», mais il va se développer d’une manière bien invraisemblable.

Ayant constaté, non sans quelque étonnement je l’avoue, l’intelligence secondaire qui se manifestait par l’écriture automatique de Lucie, j’eus un jour avec elle la conversation suivante, pendant que son moi normal causait avec une autre personne. «M’entendez-vous, lui dis-je? – (Elle répond par écrit) Non. -Mais pour répondre il faut entendre. – Oui, absolument. – Alors, comment faites-vous? – Je ne sais. – Il faut bien qu’il y ait quelqu’un qui m’entende? – Oui. – Qui cela? – Autre que Lucie. – Ah bien! une autre personne. Voulez-vous que nous lui donnions un nom? – Non. – Si, ce sera plus commode. – Eh bien Adrienne [1]. – Alors, Adrienne, m’entendez-vous? – Oui.» – Sans doute c’est moi qui ai suggéré le nom de ce personnage et lui ai donné ainsi une sorte d’individualité, mais on a vu combien il s’était développé spontanément.

[1] Il y eut une petite difficulté à propos du nom de ce personnage, il changea deux fois de nom. je n’insiste pas sur ce détail insignifiant dont j’ai parlé ailleurs. Revue philosophique, 1886, II, 589.

Ces dénominations du personnage subconscient facilitent beaucoup les expériences; d’ailleurs l’écriture automatique prend presque toujours un nom de ce genre, sans que l’on ait rien suggéré, comme je l’ai constaté dans des lettres automatiques écrites spontanément par Léonie.
Une fois baptisé, le personnage inconscient est plus déterminé et plus net, il montre mieux ses caractères psychologiques. Il nous fait voir qu’il a surtout connaissance de ces sensations négligées par le personnage primaire ou normal; c’est lui qui me dit que je pince le bras, ou que je touche le petit doigt, tandis que Lucie a depuis bien longtemps perdu toute sensation tactile; c’est lui qui voit les objets que la suggestion négative a enlevés à la conscience de Lucie, qui remarque et signale mes croix et mes chiffres sur les papiers. Il use de ces sensations qu’on lui a abandonnées pour produire ses mouvements. Nous savons en effet qu’un même mouvement peut être exécuté, au moins par un adulte, de différentes manières, grâce à des images visuelles ou des images kinesthésiques; par exemple, Lucie ne peut écrire que par des images visuelles, elle se baisse et suit sans cesse des yeux sa plume et son papier; Adrienne, qui est la seconde personnalité simultanée, écrit sans regarder le papier, c’est qu’elle se sert des images kinesthésiques de l’écriture. Chacune a sa manière d’agir, comme sa manière de penser.
Un des premiers caractères que manifeste ce «moi secondaire» et qui est visible pour l’observateur, c’est une préférence marquée pour certaines personnes. Adrienne, qui m’obéit fort bien et qui cause volontiers avec moi, ne se donne pas la peine de répondre à tout le monde. Qu’une autre personne examine en mon absence ce même sujet, comme cela est arrivé, elle ne constatera ni catalepsie partielle, ni actes subsconscients par distraction, ni écriture automatique, et viendra me dire que Lucie est une personne normale très distraite et très anesthésique. Voilà un observateur qui n’a vu que le premier moi avec ses lacunes et qui n’est pas entré en relations avec le second. D’après les observations de MM. Binet et Féré, il ne suffit pas qu’une hystérique soit anesthésique pour qu’elle présente de la catalepsie partielle. Sans aucun doute, il faut, pour ce phénomène, une condition de plus que l’anesthésie, une sorte de mise en rapport de l’expérimentateur avec les phénomènes subconscients. Si ces phénomènes sont très isolés, ils sont provoqués par tout expérimentateur, mais s’ils sont groupés en personnalité (ce qui arrive très fréquemment chez les hystériques fortement malades), ils manifestent des préférences et n’obéissent pas à tout le monde.
Non seulement le moi secondaire n’obéit pas, mais il résiste à l’étranger. Quand j’ai soulevé et mis en position cataleptique le bras de Lucie ou celui de Léonie qui présente le même phénomène, personne ne peut les déplacer. Essaye-t-on de le déplacer, le bras semble contracturé et résiste de toutes ses forces; le fléchit-on avec effort, il remonte comme par élasticité à sa première position. Que je touche le bras de nouveau, il devient subitement léger et obéit à toutes les impulsions. Il faut se souvenir de ce caractère d’électivité qui appartient au personnage subconscient et qui nous servira plus tard à mieux préciser sa nature.

Cette personnalité a d’ordinaire peu de volonté, elle obéit à mes moindres ordres. Nous n’avons pas à insister sur ce caractère déjà bien connu: la suggestion s’explique dans ce cas, comme dans les circonstances précédemment étudiées. Elle est produite ici, comme toujours, par la petitesse, la faiblesse de cette personnalité greffée à côté de la première et qui est encore plus étroite qu’elle. Le seul fait à rappeler, car nous le connaissons déjà, c’est que ces suggestions s’exécutent (dans les cas typiques, les seuls que nous considérions maintenant) [2] sans être connues par le sujet lui-même.

[2] Voir les exceptions au chapitre suivant.

C’est un second individu plus suggestible encore que le premier qui agit à côté et à l’insu du sujet que nous étudions, mais qui agit exactement d’après les mêmes lois.
Cependant, de même que les individus les plus suggestibles se sont montrés capables de résistance et de spontanéité, de même, le personnage secondaire se montre parfois très indocile. J’ai eu des querelles bien amusantes avec ce personnage d’Adrienne si docile au début et qui, en grandissant, le devenait de moins en moins. Il me répondait souvent d’une manière impertinente et écrivait «Non, non», au lieu de faire ce que je lui commandais. Il fut un jour tellement en colère contre moi qu’il refusa complètement de me répondre; catalepsie partielle, actes inconscients, écriture automatique, tout avait disparu par la simple mauvaise humeur d’Adrienne. Peut-on, ainsi que certains auteurs, considérer ces phénomènes de catalepsie à l’état de veille comme des phénomènes purement physiologiques et musculaires, quand on les voit disparaître subitement à la suite d’une colère qui s’est manifestée par l’écriture automatique? Je fus forcé alors de causer avec le personnage normal, avec Lucie, qui, tout à fait ignorante du drame qui se passait au dedans d’elle-même, était de très bonne humeur. Quand je fus parvenu à me réconcilier avec Adrienne, les actes cataleptiques recommencèrent comme auparavant. Des faits de ce genre sont loin d’être rares et je les ai observés sur plusieurs autres sujets.

Ces résistances du personnage secondaire nous préparent à comprendre plus facilement ses actes spontanés, car j’ai été forcé de constater qu’il en existait de semblables. Un autre sujet, Léonie, avait appris à lire et à écrire passablement, et j’avais profité de ses nouvelles connaissances pour lui faire écrire pendant la veille quelques mots ou quelques lignes inconsciemment; mais je l’avais renvoyée sans lui rien suggérer de plus. Elle avait quitté le Havre depuis plus de deux mois quand je reçus d’elle la lettre la plus singulière. Sur la première page se trouvait une petite lettre d’un ton sérieux: «elle était indisposée, disait-elle, plus souffrante un jour que l’autre, etc., et elle signait de son nom véritable «Femme B...»; mais sur le verso commençait une autre lettre d’un tout autre style et que l’on me permettra de reproduire à titre de curiosité: «Mon cher bon monsieur, je viens vous dire que Léonie tout vrai, tout vrai, me fait souffrir beaucoup, elle ne peut pas dormir, elle me fait bien du mal; je vais la démolir, elle m’embête, je suis malade aussi et bien fatiguée. C’est de la part de votre bien dévouée Léontine.» Quand Léonie fut de retour au Havre, je l’interrogeai naturellement sur cette singulière missive: elle avait conservé un souvenir très exact de la première lettre; elle pouvait m’en dire encore le contenu; elle se souvenait de l’avoir cachetée dans l’enveloppe et même des détails de l’adresse qu’elle avait écrite avec peine; mais elle n’avait pas le moindre souvenir de la seconde lettre. Je m’expliquais d’ailleurs cet oubli: ni la familiarité de la lettre, ni la liberté du style, ni les expressions employées, ni surtout la signature n’appartenaient à Léonie dans son état de veille. Tout cela appartenait au contraire au personnage inconscient qui s’était déjà manifesté à moi par bien d’autres actes. Je crus d’abord qu’il y avait eu une attaque de somnambulisme spontané entre le moment où elle terminait la première lettre et l’instant où elle cachetait l’enveloppe. Le personnage secondaire du somnambulisme qui savait l’intérêt que je prenais à Léonie et la façon dont je la guérissais souvent de ses accidents nerveux, aurait apparu un instant pour m’appeler à son aide; le fait était déjà fort étrange. Mais depuis, ces lettres subconscientes et spontanées se sont multipliées et j’ai pu mieux étudier leur production. Fort heureusement, j’ai pu surprendre Léonie, une fois, au moment où elle accomplissait cette singulière opération. Elle était près d’une table et tenait encore le tricot auquel elle venait de travailler. Le visage était fort calme, les yeux regardaient en l’air avec un peu de fixité, mais elle ne semblait pas en attaque cataleptique; elle chantait à demi-voix une ronde campagnarde, la main droite écrivait vivement et comme à la dérobée. Je commençai par lui enlever son papier à son insu et je lui parlai; elle se retourna aussitôt bien éveillée, mais un peu surprise, car, dans son état de distraction, elle ne m’avait pas entendu entrer. «Elle avait passé, disait-elle, la journée à tricoter et elle chantait parce qu’elle se croyait seule.» Elle n’avait aucune connaissance du papier qu’elle écrivait. Tout s’était passé exactement, comme nous l’avons vu pour les actes inconscients, par distraction, avec la différence que rien n’avait été suggéré.
Cette forme de phénomènes subconscients n’est pas aussi facile à étudier que les autres; étant spontanée, elle ne peut être soumise à une expérimentation régulière. Voici quelques remarques seulement que le hasard m’a permis de faire. D’abord le personnage secondaire qui écrit ces lettres est intelligent dans ses manifestations spontanées, comme dans ses manifestations provoquées. Il montre, dans ce qu’il écrit, beaucoup de mémoire: une lettre contenait le récit de l’enfance même de Léonie; il montre du bon sens dans des remarques ordinairement justes. Voici même un exemple de perspicacité inconsciente, comme dirait M. Richet. La personne subconsciente s’aperçut un jour que la personne consciente, Léonie, déchirait les papiers qu’elle avait écrits quand elle les laissait à sa portée à la fin de la distraction. Que faire pour les conserver? Profitant d’une distraction plus longue de Léonie, elle recommença sa lettre, puis elle alla la porter dans un album de photographies. Cet album, en effet, contenait autrefois une photographie de M. Gibert qui, par association d’idées, avait la propriété de mettre Léonie en catalepsie. Je prenais la précaution de faire retirer ce portrait quand Léonie était dans la maison; mais l’album n’en conservait pas moins sur elle une sorte d’influence terrifiante. Le personnage secondaire était donc sûr que ses lettres mises dans l’album ne seraient pas touchées par Léonie. Tout ce raisonnement n’a pas été fait en somnambulisme, je le répète, mais à l’état de veille et subconsciemment. Léonie distraite chantait ou rêvait à quelques pensers vagues, pendant que ses membres, obéissant à une volonté en quelque sorte étrangère, prenaient ainsi des précautions contre elle-même. La seconde personne profite ainsi de toutes ses distractions. Léonie se promène seule dans les rues et imprudemment s’abandonne à ses rêveries; elle est toute surprise, quand elle fait attention à son chemin, de se trouver en un tout autre endroit de la ville. L’autre a trouvé spirituel de l’amener à ma porte. La prévient-on par lettre qu’elle peut revenir au Havre, elle s’y retrouve sans savoir comment; l’autre, pressée d’arriver, l’a fait partir le plus vite possible et sans bagages. Ajoutons enfin, comme dernière remarque, que ces actes subconscients et spontanés ont encore un autre trait de ressemblance avec les actes provoqués; ils amènent dans la conscience normale un vide particulier, une anesthésie systématique. Léonie étant venue souvent chez moi, je croyais qu’elle connaissait bien mon adresse; je fus bien étonné, en causant un jour avec elle pendant l’état de veille, de voir qu’elle l’ignorait complètement, bien plus, qu’elle ne connaissait pas du tout le quartier. Le second personnage ayant pris pour lui toutes ces notions, le premier semblait ne plus parvenir à les posséder.
Nous ne pouvons terminer cette étude sur le développement de la personnalité subconsciente sans rappeler un fait déjà signalé et sur lequel par conséquent nous n’insisterons point. Les actes subconscients et les sensations latentes peuvent exister pendant le somnambulisme, comme pendant la veille, et se développer aussi à ce moment sous la forme d’une personnalité. Tantôt elle présentera les mêmes caractères que pendant la veille, comme cela arrive chez Lucie; tantôt elle sera toute différente, comme cela a lieu chez Léonie. Il ne faut pas oublier ces complications possibles.

Nous avons insisté sur ces développements d’une nouvelle existence psychologique, non plus alternante avec l’existence normale du sujet, mais absolument simultanée. La connaissance de ce fait est en effet indispensable pour comprendre la conduite des névropathes et celle des aliénés. Nous n’avons étudié, dans ce chapitre, que des cas typiques, pour ainsi dire théoriques, de ce dédoublement, afin de le voir dans les circonstances les plus simples et de pouvoir le reconnaître plus tard quand les cas deviennent plus complexes. Cette notion, importante, croyons nous, dans l’étude de la psychologie pathologique, ne manque pas non plus d’une certaine gravité au point de vue philosophique. On s’est accoutumé à admettre sans trop de difficultés les variations successives de la personnalité; les souvenirs, le caractère qui forment la personnalité pouvaient changer sans altérer l’idée du moi qui restait une à tous les moments de l’existence. Il faudra, croyons-nous, reculer plus encore la nature véritable de la personne métaphysique et considérer l’idée même de l’unité personnelle comme une apparence qui peut subir des modifications. Les systèmes philosophiques réussiront certainement à s’accommoder de ces faits nouveaux, car ils cherchent à exprimer la réalité des choses, et une expression de la vérité ne peut pas être en opposition avec une autre.

VIII. Les existences psychologiques simultanées comparées aux existences psychologiques successives

En étudiant, chez certains sujets, cette seconde personnalité qui s’est révélée à nous au-dessous de la conscience normale, on ne peut se défendre d’une certaine surprise. On ne sait comment s’expliquer le développement rapide et quelquefois soudain de cette seconde conscience. Si elle résulte, comme nous l’avons supposé, du groupement des images restées en dehors de la perception normale, comment cette systématisation a-t-elle pu se faire aussi vite? La seconde personne a un caractère, des préférences, des caprices, des actes spontanés: comment, en quelques instants, a-telle acquis tout cela? Notre étonnement cessera si nous voulons bien remarquer que cette forme de conscience et de personnalité n’existe pas maintenant pour la première fois. Nous l’avons déjà vue quelque part et nous n’avons pas de peine à reconnaître une ancienne connaissance: elle est tout simplement le personnage du somnambulisme qui se manifeste de cette nouvelle manière pendant l’état de veille.
C’est la mémoire qui établit la continuité de la vie psychologique, c’est elle qui nous a permis d’établir l’analogie de divers états somnambuliques, aussi est-ce encore elle qui va rapprocher l’existence subconsciente, qui a lieu pendant la veille du sujet, de l’existence alternante qui caractérise le somnambulisme. Nous pouvons montrer en effet: 1º que les phénomènes subconscients pendant la veille contiennent les souvenirs acquis pendant les somnambulismes, et 2º que l’on retrouve pendant le somnambulisme le souvenir de tous ces actes et de toutes ces sensations subconscientes.

1º Le premier point pourrait être déjà considéré comme démontré par l’étude que nous avons faite des suggestions posthypnotiques. Le sujet exécute quelquefois toute la suggestion sans le savoir, comme nous l’avons vu faire à Lucie, mais, dans les autres cas, il fait, au moins de cette manière, tous les calculs, toutes les remarques nécessaires pour exécuter correctement ce qui lui a été commandé. Quand la suggestion est rattachée à un point de repère, c’est la personne inconsciente qui garde le souvenir de ce signal: «Vous m’avez dit de faire telle chose quand l’heure sonnera», écrit automatiquement Lucie après son réveil du somnambulisme. C’est elle aussi qui reconnaît ce signal dont la personne normale ne se préoccupe pas. «Il y a sur ce papier une tache en haut et à gauche», écrit Adrienne à propos de l’expérience du portrait. C’est elle qui combine les procédés dans ces supercheries inconscientes si curieuses que M. Bergson avait signalées [3].

[3] Bergson. La simulation inconsciente. Revue philosophique, 1886, II, 525.

Quand il y a un calcul à faire, c’est encore ce même personnage qui s’en charge, qui compte les bruits que je fais avec mes mains, ou fait les additions que j’ai commandées. L’écriture automatique de Lucie l’affirme à chaque instant. M. Gurney [4] raconte qu’il avait commandé à un sujet de faire un acte dans dix jours et qu’il l’interrogea le lendemain au moyen de la planchette des spirites (c’est un procédé à mon avis fort inutile, dont les Anglais se servent presque toujours pour provoquer l’écriture automatique).

[4] Gurney. Proceed. S. P. R, 1887, 294.

Ce sujet, qui consciemment ne se souvenait d’aucune suggestion, écrivit, sans le savoir, qu’il fallait encore attendre neuf jours; le lendemain il écrivit qu’il ferait l’acte dans huit jours. J’ai voulu répéter l’expérience et j’ai obtenu un résultat différent, mais tout aussi démonstratif. Je suggère à Rose, pendant le somnambulisme, de m’écrire une lettre dans quarantedeux jours, puis le la réveille. Le lendemain, sans la rendormir, je lui demande, var le procédé déjà décrit de la distraction, quand elle m’écrira. Je croyais qu’elle allait écrire, comme le sujet de M. Gurney «dans quarante et un jours», mais elle écrivit simplement: «le 2 octobre». Et, de fait, elle avait raison, cela faisait bien quarantedeux jours et le personnage subconscient avait justement fait le calcul. La suggestion devenait une simple suggestion à point de repère inconscient qui d’ailleurs s’exécuta très correctement.
Quand il faut supprimer la vue d’un objet au personnage conscient, dans l’expérience de l’hallucination négative ou de l’anesthésie systématisée, c’est encore notre second personnage qui s’en charge. Il prend pour lui la vue de cet objet dont il conserve le souvenir et, par conséquent, empêche le personnage primaire de réunir ces sensations dans sa perception ordinaire. Voici un exemple qui résume tous ces phénomènes. J’ai commandé un soir à Lucie, pendant l’état somnambulique, de venir le lendemain à trois heures chez M. le docteur Powilewicz. Elle arrivait en effet le lendemain vers trois heures et demie: mais lorsqu’elle me parlait en entrant, elle semblait éprouver une singulière hallucination; elle croyait être chez elle, prenait les meubles du cabinet pour les siennes et soutenait n’être pas sortie de la journée. Adrienne que j’interrogeai alors me répondit sensément par écrit que, sur mon ordre, elle s’était habillée à trois heures, qu’elle était sortie et qu’elle savait fort bien où elle était. Le souvenir de la suggestion, la reconnaissance du signal, l’acte commandé, l’anesthésie systématique, tout dépendait du second personnage qui accomplissait mes ordres pendant la veille au-dessous de la personne consciente, comme il l’aurait fait pendant le somnambulisme lui-même. En un mot, les suggestions posthypnotiques établissent un lien très net entre le premier somnambulisme et la seconde existence simultanée.
Mais les suggestions ne forment qu’une petite partie des souvenirs du somnambulisme, et l’écriture subconsciente montre encore le souvenir de tous les autres incidents. Voici une expérience facile à répéter que décrit M. Gurney [5].

[5] Proceed. S. P. R., 1887, 294.

Pendant l’état somnambulique, il cause avec un sujet et lui raconte quelque histoire, puis il le réveille complètement. A ce moment, le sujet a complètement perdu le souvenir de ce qu’on vient de lui dire, mais s’il met la main sur «la planchette» et la laisse écrire en apparence au hasard, on va lire sur le papier le récit complet de cette histoire que le sujet prétend ignorer et qu’il ne peut raconter, même si on lui offre un souverain pour le faire. Voici des faits analogues: Pour diverses expériences j’avais demandé à N.... pendant qu’elle était en somnambulisme, de faire au crayon quelques petits dessins, et elle avait esquissé une maison, un petit bateau avec une voile et une figure de profil avec un long nez. Une fois réveillée, elle n’a gardé de tout cela aucun souvenir et parle de tout autre chose; mais sa main qui a repris le crayon se met à dessiner sur un papier à son insu. N... finit par s’en apercevoir et, prenant le papier, me dit: «Tiens, regardez donc ce que j’ai dessiné: une maison, un bateau et une tête avec un long nez; qu’est-ce qui m’a pris de dessiner cela?» J’avais fait voir à V..., pendant le somnambulisme, un petit chien sur ses genoux et elle l’avait caressé avec une grande joie. Quand elle fut réveillée, je m’aperçus qu’elle avait un mouvement bizarre de la main droite qui semblait caresser encore quelque chose sur les genoux; il fallut la rendormir pour enlever cette idée du petit chien, qui persistait dans la seconde conscience. On avait eu le tort de parler de spiritisme devant Léonie pendant qu’elle était en somnambulisme. A son réveil, elle conserva divers mouvements subconscients, des tremblements de la main, comme si elle voulait écrire, et des mouvements singuliers de la tête et des yeux qui semblaient chercher quelque chose sous les meubles: la seconde personne pensait toujours aux esprits. Il est inutile de citer d’autres exemples; il suffit de rappeler qu’avec un sujet présentant à un haut degré l’écriture automatique, comme Lucie, on peut continuer par ce moyen, pendant la veille, toutes les conversations commencées pendant le somnambulisme.
Nous avons déjà constaté que, pendant le somnambulisme lui-même, le sujet peut retrouver parfois le souvenir de certains états oubliés pendant la veille et cependant distincts de l’état hypnotique, le souvenir de certains rêves, de quelques délires et quelquefois des crises d’hystérie. Aussi ne serons-nous pas surpris que l’écriture subconsciente renferme également ces souvenirs. Tandis que Léonie a oublié ses somnambulismes naturels, ses cauchemars et ses crises, quand elle est éveillée, son écriture automatique qui signe Adrienne va nous raconter tous les incidents de ces sortes de crises. C’est là un fait tout naturel qui résulte trop simplement du phénomène précédent pour que j’y insiste.
Une autre conséquence de ce souvenir, c’est que la personne subconsciente a complètement le caractère et les allures qui caractérisent le somnambulisme lui-même. Les sujets, quand ils écrivent inconsciemment, prennent les mêmes noms qu’ils ont déjà pris dans tel ou tel état hypnotique: Adrienne, Léontine, Nichette, etc. Ils montrent, dans les actes de ce genre, la même électivité que pendant le somnambulisme. Si les actes inconscients, si la catalepsie partielle ne peuvent être provoqués que par moi sur Lucie ou Léonie, c’est que, étant endormies en état second, elles n’obéissent aussi qu’à moi seul. Enfin la nature de l’intelligence pendant le somnambulisme a la plus grande influence sur la nature de l’acte inconscient. Lem. n’a aucune mémoire pendant le somnambulisme, aussi ne peut-il pas exécuter de suggestions posthypnotiques à échéance. Les actes inconscients de N... sont enfantins, comme le caractère même de N. 2 ou de Nichette, mais, comme elle a beaucoup de mémoire, ces actes inconscients peuvent être obtenus à n’importe quelle époque avec une grande précision. Voici à ce propos une observation faite par hasard et qui n’en est pas moins curieuse. Dans les premières études que j’avais faites sur N.... j’avais constaté une très grande aptitude aux suggestions par distraction à l’état de veille; j’avais ensuite cessé ces expériences et perdu de vue cette personne pendant plusieurs mois. Quand je la vis de nouveau, je voulus essayer ces mêmes suggestions sans somnambulisme préalable, mais elles n’eurent pas le même résultat qu’autrefois. Le sujet, qui parlait à une autre personne, ne se retournait pas quand je lui commandais quelque chose et semblait ne pas m’entendre: il y avait donc bien l’anesthésie systématique nécessaire à l’acte subconscient, mais cet acte n’était pas exécuté. Il me fallut alors endormir le sujet, mais même dans le somnambulisme, les allures de N... restaient si singulières que je ne reconnaissais plus les caractères étudiés quelque temps auparavant. Le sujet m’entendait mal ou ne comprenait pas ce que je lui disais: «Qu’avez-vous donc aujourd’hui? lui dis-je à la fin. – Je ne vous entends pas, je suis trop loin. – Et où êtes-vous? – Je suis à Alger sur une grande place, il faut me faire revenir.» Le retour ne fut pas difficile: on connaît ces voyages de somnambules par hallucination. Quand elle fut arrivée, elle poussa un soupir de soulagement, se redressa et se mit à parler comme autrefois. «M’expliquerez-vous maintenant, lui dis-je, ce que vous faisiez à Alger? – Ce n’est pas ma faute; c’est M. X... qui m’y a envoyée il y a un mois; il a oublié de me faire revenir, il m’y a laissée... Tout à l’heure vous vouliez me commander, me faire lever le bras (c’était la suggestion que j’avais essayé de faire pendant la veille), j’était trop loin, je ne pouvais pas obéir.» Vérification faite, cette singulière histoire était vraie: une autre personne avait endormi ce sujet dans l’intervalle de mes deux études, avait provoqué différentes hallucinations, entre autres celle d’un voyage à Alger; n’attachant pas assez d’importance à ces phénomènes, elle avait réveillé le sujet sans enlever l’hallucination. N.... la personne éveillée, était restée en apparence normale; mais le personnage subconscient qui était en elle conservait plus ou moins latente l’hallucination d’être à Alger. Et quand, sans somnambulisme préalable, je voulus lui faire des commandements, il entendit mais ne crut pas devoir obéir. L’hallucination une fois supprimée, tout se passa comme autrefois. Une modification dans l’intelligence pendant le somnambulisme avait donc amené, même deux mois après, une modification correspondante dans les actes subconscients, de même que les colères de Lucie 2 pendant le somnambulisme amènent après le réveil la mauvaise humeur manifestée par l’écriture automatique.

2º Une autre considération, à laquelle nous pouvons passer maintenant, rapproche encore ces deux états, c’est que les actes subconscients ont un effet en quelque sorte hypnotisant et contribuent par eux-mêmes à amener le somnambulisme. J’avais déjà remarqué que deux sujets surtout, Lucie et Léonie, s’endormaient fréquemment malgré moi au milieu d’expériences sur les actes inconscients à l’état de veille; mais j’avais rapporté ce sommeil à ma seule présence et à leur habitude du somnambulisme. Le fait suivant me fit revenir de mon erreur. M. Binet avait eu l’obligeance de me montrer un des sujets sur lesquels il étudiait les actes subconscients par anesthésie, et je lui avais demandé la permission de reproduire sur ce sujet les suggestions par distraction. Les choses se passèrent tout à fait selon mon attente: le sujet (Hab... ), bien éveillé, causait avec M. Binet; placé derrière lui, je lui faisais à son insu remuer la main, écrire quelques mots, répondre à mes questions par signes, etc. Tout d’un coup, Hab... cessa de parler à M. Binet et se retournant vers moi, les yeux fermés, continua correctement, par la parole consciente la conversation qu’elle avait commencée avec moi par signes subconscients; d’autre part, elle ne parlait plus du tout à M. Binet, elle ne l’entendait plus, en un mot, elle était tombée en somnambulisme électif. Il fallut réveiller le sujet qui naturellement avait tout oublié à son réveil. Or Hab... ne me connaissait en aucune manière, ce n’était donc pas ma présence qui l’avait endormie; le sommeil était donc bien ici le résultat du développement des phénomènes subconscients qui avaient envahi, puis effacé la conscience normale. Le fait d’ailleurs se vérifie aisément. Léonie reste bien éveillée près de moi tant que je ne provoque pas des phénomènes de ce genre; mais quand ceux-ci deviennent trop nombreux et trop compliqués, elle s’endort. Cette remarque assez importante nous explique un détail que nous avions noté, sans le comprendre, dans l’exécution des suggestions posthypnotiques. Tant qu’elles sont simples. Léonie les exécute à son insu, en parlant d’autre chose; quand elles sont longues et compliquées, le sujet parle de moins en moins en les exécutant, finit par s’endormir et les exécute rapidement en plein somnambulisme. La suggestion posthypnotique s’exécute quelquefois dans un second somnambulisme, non pas que l’on ait suggéré au sujet de se rendormir, mais parce que le souvenir de cette suggestion et l’exécution elle-même forment une vie subconsciente si analogue au somnambulisme que, dans quelques cas, elle le produit complètement.

Le sujet est maintenant de nouveau en somnambulisme: l’analogie entre les états que nous voulons comparer va se montrer encore d’une autre manière. Tous les auteurs ont remarqué que le sujet exécute au réveil les suggestions posthypnotiques sans savoir qui les lui a données, mais que, dans un nouveau somnambulisme, il retrouve ce souvenir [6].

[6] Gilles de la Tourette. Op. cit., 153.

On pourrait croire que le sujet se souvient seulement de l’ordre reçu pendant un somnambulisme précédent et qu’il n’y a là qu’un souvenir d’un somnambulisme à l’autre. On peut choisir des suggestions qui se sont exécutées inconsciemment, mais dont l’exécution a été caractérisée par un petit détail non prévu, et l’on voit que le sujet, quand on l’endort de nouveau, a un souvenir complet de ces actes qui n’ont pas été connus par la conscience normale. Il est inutile de citer des exemples: on n’a qu’à se souvenir des suggestions posthypnotiques dont nous avons parlé et dont nous avons noté l’inconscience pendant la veille. Tous les sujets répètent, quand je les endors de nouveau, ce qu’ils ont fait pour m’obéir et les divers incidents qui ont caractérisé l’exécution de mes commandements.
Tout ce que je viens de dire s’applique exactement aux actes subconscients spontanés, en particulier à ceux de Léonie. En somnambulisme en état de Léonie 2, elle en garde un souvenir partait. Dans la lettre dont j’ai parlé, il y avait une partie ignorée du sujet éveillé et signée du nom de Léontine. On voit maintenant ce que ce nom signifiait, car c’est ainsi qu’elle se désigne elle-même pendant l’état somnambulique. Elle put me dire en effet dans cet état qu’elle avait voulu m’écrire pour me prévenir de la maladie de l’autre et me récita les termes de la lettre. Une excellente preuve d’ailleurs que les actes de cette espèce sont bien des actions de Léonie 2, c’est que, comme nous l’avons dit, le sujet peut s’endormir pendant leur accomplissement: les mêmes actes sont alors continués pendant le somnambulisme sans modification. Je surpris une fois Léonie, en train d’écrire une lettre inconsciemment de la façon que j’ai décrite et je pus l’endormir sans l’interrompre; Léonie 2 continue alors sa lettre avec bien plus d’activité.
Il est inutile de décrire ce phénomène de mémoire chez d’autres sujets, car il reste absolument identique; mais je passe de suite à une remarque très importante. Certains sujets, comme N.... ont, dès le début du somnambulisme, le souvenir de tous les actes subconscients de la veille, quels qu’ils soient, même de ceux qui ont été obtenus par anesthésie ou par distraction. Le sujet dont parle souvent M. Gurney était de ce genre. «Quand il a écrit une phrase automatiquement à la planchette, il l’ignore à l’état de veille, mais, endormi, il la répète presque toujours sans erreur [7].»

[7] Gurney. Proceed. S. P. R., 1887, 296.

Il ne faut pas se figurer que tous les sujets font ainsi. car on rencontrerait bien vite une quantité d’exceptions à la loi que nous signalons. Lucie ne retrouve dans ce premier somnambulisme aucun souvenir de ses actes subconscients, Léonie, Rose ou Marie ne retrouvent dans ce même état que le souvenir d’un certain nombre d’actes de ce genre.

Quand cela arrive, quand un sujet ne retrouve pas, une fois en somnambulisme, le souvenir de ses actes subconscients de la veille, nous remarquerons que ces actes existent encore de la même manière et que la conscience continue à présenter le même dédoublement. La catalepsie partielle du côté gauche, et les actes inconscients par distraction existent encore chez Léonie pendant le premier somnambulisme. En outre, ces actes semblent rester associés avec ceux qui se sont produits pendant la veille et qui n’ont pas été remémorés. Chez Lucie, le personnage subconscient, quand il écrivait pendant la veille, signait ses lettres du nom d’Adrienne, il les signe encore du même nom pendant le somnambulisme et continue à montrer dans ces lettres les mêmes connaissances et les mêmes souvenirs. Ai-je commandé pendant la veille à Léonie un acte qui s’est exécuté à son insu pendant une distraction; elle l’ignore encore quand elle est maintenant en somnambulisme. Mais si, pendant cet état même, je profite d’une distraction pour commander «le même acte que tout à l’heure», sans spécifier davantage, cet acte est très exactement reproduit, mais encore à l’insu de Léonie 2. comme tout à l’heure. de Léonie 1. Quand je fais parler, soit par signes, soit par écriture automatique, cet inconscient qui semble subsister encore, il peut très exactement raconter tous les autres actes inconscients qui restent encore ignorés. Il semble donc que, chez ce sujet, les actes subconscients et les images dont ils dépendant fassent. au-dessous du somnambulisme, une nouvelle synthèse de phénomènes, une nouvelle existence psychique, de même que la vie somnambulique elle-même existait au-dessous de la veille.
Quand les choses se présentent ainsi, il faut endormir davantage le sujet, car la persistance des actes subconscients ainsi que des anesthésies indique qu’il y a des somnambulismes plus profonds. Nous connaissons ces états somnambuliques variés que l’on obtient tantôt par de gradations insensibles, tantôt par des sauts brusques à travers des états léthargiques ou cataleptiques. Chaque état nouveau de somnambulisme amène avec lui le souvenir d’un certain nombre de ces actes subconscients. Léonie 3 est la première à se souvenir de certains actes et se les attribue. «Pendant que l’autre parlait, dit-elle à propos d’un acte inconscient de la veille, vous avez dit de tirer sa montre, je l’ai tirée pour elle, mais elle n’a pas voulu regarder l’heure...» «Pendant qu’elle causait avec M. un tel, dit-elle à propos d’un acte inconscient du somnambulisme, vous m’avez dit de faire des bouquets, j’en ai fait deux, j’ai fait ceci et cela...», et elle répète tous les gestes que j’ai décrits et qui avaient été tout à fait ignorés pendant les états précédents. Léonie 3 se souvient également bien des actions qui ont été exécutées pendant la catalepsie complète qui, chez ce sujet, précède le second somnambulisme. C’est à ce souvenir que nous faisions allusion au début de cet ouvrage, pour montrer que les actions faites dans cet état n’étaient pas absolument dépourvues de conscience. Lucie qui n’avait, dans le premier somnambulisme, absolument aucun souvenir des actes subconscients, ni du personnage d’Adrienne, reprend ces souvenirs de la façon la plus complète dans son second somnambulisme. Il ne faut donc pas nier le rapport entre les existences successives et les existences simultanées, parce que le sujet ne retrouve pas, tout de suite, dans son premier somnambulisme, le souvenir de certains actes subconscients; il suffit souvent de l’endormir davantage pour que sa mémoire soit complète.

Ces faits se comprennent d’ailleurs très facilement, si on réfléchit aux conditions déjà étudiées du retour de la mémoire. Le souvenir d’un acte est lié à la sensibilité qui a servi à l’accomplir, il disparaît avec elle, reste subconscient tant que cette n’est pas rattachée à la perception normale, il réapparaît quand cette sensibilité est elle-même rétablie. Prenons un exemple: pendant que Léonie est bien réveillée. je lui mets une paire de ciseaux dans la main gauche qui est anesthésique; les doigts entrent dans les anneaux, ouvrent et ferment alternativement les ciseaux. Cet acte dépend évidemment de la sensation tactile des ciseaux, et il est inconscient. parce que cette sensation est désagrégée, existe à part et n’est pas synthétisée dans la perception normale de Léonie à ce moment. J’endors le sujet et je constate que. dans ce nouvel état, il est encore anesthésique du bras gauche. Il est donc tout naturel que le souvenir de l’acte précédent ne soit pas réapparu et reste en dehors de la conscience personnelle. Je mets le sujet dans un autre état, il a retrouvé la sensibilité du bras gauche et il se souvient maintenant de l’acte qu’il vient de faire avec les ciseaux. C’est là une application nouvelle, mais facile à prévoir, des études que nous avons faites sur la mémoire. Il se forme, dans ce cas, plusieurs personnalités subconscientes simultanées, de même qu’il s’est formé précédemment plusieurs somnambulismes successifs.
Je rattacherai à cette remarque un fait assez connu. quand une suggestion a été donnée à un sujet dans un somnambulisme particulier, elle ne peut être enlevée que si l’on ramène le sujet exactement au même somnambulisme. Si j’ai fait un commandement à Léonie 3, je ne l’enlèverai pas en parlant à Léonie 2, ou à Léonie 1. Pourquoi cela? Parce que mon commandement fait partie d’un certain groupe, d’un certain système de phénomènes psychologiques qui a sa vie propre en dehors des autres systèmes psychologiques qui existent dans la tête de cet individu. Pour modifier mon commandement, il faut commencer par atteindre ce groupe de phénomènes dont il fait partie, car on ne change pas un ordre donné à M. A., en allant faire un discours à M. B. Quelquefois ces systèmes psychologiques subconscients, formés à part de la perception personnelle, sont en petit nombre, deux chez Lucie ou Léonie, un seul chez Marie, trois ou quatre chez Rose; quelquefois ils sont, je crois, très nombreux. Les somnambulismes d’un sujet ne sont presque jamais identiques les uns aux autres, ils changent surtout quand ils sont produits par différents expérimentateurs. Je m’expliquerais ainsi les mésaventures d’une somnambule racontées par M. Pitres [8].

[8] D’après Gilles de la Tourette. Op. cit., 127.

Un mauvais plaisant l’avait endormie et lui avait suggéré le désir d’embrasser l’aumônier de l’hôpital, puis l’avait réveillée et était parti. La suggestion tourmentait abominablement cette malheureuse, mais personne ne pouvait réussir à la lui enlever, quoiqu’on la mît dans le sommeil hypnotique. C’est que l’on ne parvenait pas à reproduire le même sommeil hypnotique. Le groupe des phénomènes psychiques qui avait reçu la suggestion restait toujours en dehors de l’état de conscience que l’on pouvait provoquer et continuait à agir dans la direction qu’il avait prise. Cette remarque, qui nous montre différentes existences subconscientes comme différents somnambulismes, n’a pas grande importance théorique, mais est souvent très utile dans la pratique.

Psychological Automatism. Fig. 10.
Fig. 10.

Ces relations entre les existences subconscientes et simultanées d’une part, et les divers somnambulismes successifs d’autre part, sont évidemment compliquées et peut-être, malgré tous mes efforts, difficiles à comprendre. Aussi avais-je essayé autrefois [9] de représenter ces faits par une figure schématique qui malheureusement n’a pas paru bien claire, peut-être parce que j’avais essayé d’y faire entrer trop de choses.

[9] Les actes inconscients et la mémoire pendant le somnambulisme. Revue philosophique, 1888, I, 279.

Essayons maintenant de représenter le résultat de ces observations d’une manière différente et, j’espère, plus simple. La vie consciente d’un de ces sujets, de Lucie par exemple, semble se composer de trois courants parallèles les uns sous les autres. Quand le sujet est réveillé, les trois courants existent: le premier est la conscience normale du sujet qui nous parle, les deux autres sont des groupes de sensations et d’actes plus ou moins associés entre eux, mais absolument ignorés par la personne qui nous parle. Quand le sujet est endormi en premier somnambulisme, le premier courant est interrompu et le second affleure, il se montre au grand jour et nous fait voir les souvenirs qu’il a acquis dans sa vie souterraine. Si nous passons au second somnambulisme, le second courant est interrompu à son tour, pour laisser subsister seul le troisième qui forme alors toute la vie consciente de l’individu, dans laquelle on ne voit plus ni anesthésies ni actes subconscients. Au réveil les courants supérieurs reparaissent en ordre inverse. Il faudrait compliquer la figure pour représenter d’autres sujets qui ont des états somnambuliques plus nombreux, des somnambulismes naturels, des crises d’hystérie, etc., mais la disposition générale pourrait, je crois, rester la même.

IX. Importance relative des diverses existences simultanées

Une vérité ne doit jamais être exagérée sous peine de se transformer en erreur: que la vie subconsciente ressemble à la vie somnambulique, cela est évident: qu’elle soit absolument identique au somnambulisme et puisse lui être assimilée, c’est ce qu’on ne peut admettre. Léonie 2, le personnage somnambulique, bavard, pétulant, enfantin, ne peut pas exister complet et tel quel au-dessous de Léonie 1, cette femme âgée, calme et silencieuse. Ce mélange amènerait un délire perpétuel. En outre, le personnage somnambulique qui a les sensibilités absentes viendrait toujours compléter le personnage normal et ne lui laisserait aucune paralysie visible. Voici à ce propos un détail que mon frère m’a raconté. Une hystérique ayant les jambes anesthésiques, Witt.... appuie ses pieds sur une boule d’eau chaude et, ne sentant rien, ne s’aperçoit pas que l’eau est trop chaude et lui brûle les pieds. Ce sujet renfermait cependant une seconde personnalité qui se manifestait parfaitement par des signes subconscients ou dans un somnambulisme profond et qui avait alors la sensibilité tactile. Quand on l’interrogea, ce second personnage prétendit avoir très bien senti la douleur aux pieds. «Eh bien, alors, pourquoi, n’as-tu pas tiré les jambes? – Je ne sais pas [10].»

[10] Voir à ce propos les expériences très intéressantes de M. Binet, dans l’article dont j’ai parlé plus haut, sur les phénomènes de douleur subconsciente. Revue philosophique, 1889, I, 143. L’auteur remarque, comme moi, que ces phénomènes de simple douleur produisent moins de mouvements que les sensations précises; et il en donne une raison qui me paraît fort juste, c’est la simplicité et l’absence de coordination de ces phénomènes. Nous avons déjà fait une allusion à des faits du même genre dans le premier chapitre de cet ouvrage, p. 61, en discutant les théories de Bain.

Il est évident que le second personnage qui possède la sensibilité tactile des jambes ne devait pas exister pendant la veille de la même manière qu’il existe maintenant en somnambulisme profond. En un mot, la seconde personnalité n’existe pas toujours de la même manière et les rapports ou les proportions entre les différentes existences psychologiques doivent être fort variables.
Pour examiner ces variations, nous pouvons partir d’un premier point extrême: L’état de santé psychologique parfaite. La puissance de synthèse étant assez grande, tous les phénomènes psychologiques, quelle que soit leur origine, sont réunis dans une même perception personnelle, et par conséquent la seconde personnalité n’existe pas. Dans un pareil état, il n’y aurait aucune distraction, aucune anesthésie, ni systématique ni générale, aucune suggestibilité et aucune possibilité de produire le somnambulisme, puisqu’on ne peut développer des phénomènes subconscients qui n’existent pas. Les hommes les plus normaux sont loin d’être toujours dans un pareil état de santé morale, et, quant à nos sujets, ils y parviennent bien rarement. Cependant, pendant plus de dix-huit mois, Lucie est restée sans anesthésie, sans suggestibilité et sans qu’on pût l’hypnotiser. Marie est maintenant dans une période de ce genre, je ne sais pour combien de temps. C’est un état de santé relatif.
Quand cette santé parfaite n’existe pas, la puissance de synthèse psychique est affaiblie et laisse échapper, en dehors de la perception personnelle, un nombre plus ou moins considérable de phénomènes psychologiques: c’est l’état de désagrégation. Je n’appelle pas cela l’état hystérique, quoique cet état existe constamment pendant l’hystérie, car je crois que l’état de désagrégation est quelque chose de plus générale que l’hystérie et qu’il peut exister encore dans bien d’autres circonstances. C’est le moment des distractions, des anesthésies systématisées, des anesthésies générales, des suggestions exécutées consciemment par le sujet. Mais les phénomènes désagrégés restent encore incohérents, tellement isolés que, sauf pour quelques-uns qui amènent encore des réflexes très simples, ils n’ont, pour la plupart, aucune action sur la conduite de l’individu, ils sont comme s’ils n’existaient pas. Quand Witt... s’est brûlé les pieds, il y avait quelque part en elle des phénomènes de douleur, mais tellement élémentaires, isolés et incohérents qu’ils pouvaient tout au plus provoquer quelques contractions convulsives ici ou là, mais ne pouvaient pas diriger un mouvement d’ensemble, coordonné, comme celui d’écarter et de déplacer les jambes. C’est dans cet état que restent nos sujets le plus souvent, quand on ne s’occupe pas d’eux et surtout quand on ne les a pas endormis depuis longtemps.
Les seules modifications qui se produisent naturellement dans cet état consistent dans les diverses répartitions de l’anesthésie. Ainsi, pour prendre un exemple, Marie, pendant plusieurs mois, a oscillé entre trois formes d’anesthésie. 1º Elle est le plus souvent hémi-anesthésique gauche: le corps est divisé en deux parties par une ligne verticale passant par le milieu. A droite, toutes les sensibilités générales ou spéciales sont conservées, à gauche toutes les sensations de tous les sens ont disparu. 2º Après être restée quinze jours ou trois semaines dans ce premier état, elle passe souvent, sans raison apparente, dans un second. Elle est encore hémi-anesthésique, mais d’une autre manière: le corps est divisé en deux parties par une ligne horizontale passant un peu au-dessus des seins, au niveau des épaules. Toute la partie inférieure est absolument anesthésique; toute la partie supérieure y compris la tête et les sens spéciaux (en exceptant pour des raisons particulières l’œil et la tempe gauches) recouvrent la sensibilité complète. 30 Souvent elle change encore d’état et se trouve pendant quelque temps sensible sur tout le corps, mais d’une manière extrêmement obtuse; comme si la même quantité de sensibilité s’était répartie en diminuant de moitié sur une surface double. D’autres sujets pourront répartir leur sensibilité d’une autre manière, en choisissant dans chaque sens, pour les percevoir, certaines impressions particulières et en abandonnant les autres. Nous avons vu que l’électivité et la distraction sont des formes du rétrécissement du champ de la conscience et de la désagrégation psychique, comme l’anesthésie elle-même. Telles sont quelques-unes des variations que présentera naturellement l’état de désagrégation abandonné à luimême.

Si la personne qui endort les sujets s’approche d’eux, ils éprouvent une émotion toute particulière qui leur fait sentir un changement dans leur conscience. C’est qu’en effet les phénomènes subconscients et désagrégés se sont groupés sous cette excitation, ont pris de la force et ont même ravi à la conscience normale quelques phénomènes dont elle avait conservé jusque-là la propriété. Les anesthésies ont augmenté: Lucie, qui entendait auparavant tout le monde, ne m’entend plus. «Je vois vos lèvres remuer, dit-elle, mais je n’entends pas ce que vous dites.» C’est que le personnage subconscient qui s’est formé a pris à ce moment mes paroles pour lui. La suggestibilité aussi a augmenté, mais elle s’exerce de deux manières, en provoquant tantôt les actes conscients du premier personnage, tantôt les actes du second ignorés par le premier; c’est l’instant de la catalepsie partielle, des suggestions par distraction et de l’écriture automatique. C’est l’état dans lequel les spirites sont si heureux de voir leurs médiums, afin d’évoquer les esprits par l’intermédiaire des phénomènes désagrégés. Cet état correspond assez bien, il me semble, à celui qui a été déjà décrit sous le nom de somnovigil ou de veille somnambulique [11].

[11] Beaunis. Somnambulisme provoqué, 166.

On a critiqué ce nom, en disant que ce n’était pas de la veille. Il est évident que, si on entend par le mot veille un état psychologique absolument normal, le sujet n’est pas en état de veille normale. Nous n’avons pas l’habitude, quand nous sommes bien éveillés, de marcher ou d’écrire sans le savoir; mais il ne faudrait pas en conclure que le sujet soit dans un état de sommeil hypnotique complet. M. Beaunis [12] en donne fort bien la preuve: c’est qu’il y a continuité de mémoire entre la veille normale et les paroles du sujet dans cet état il se souviendra indéfiniment d’une partie de ce qu’il a fait il était donc au moins en partie en état de veille.

[12] Beaunis. Somnambulisme provoqué, 166.

Mais l’autre partie de son être. dont nous avons surabondamment montré l’existence et les caractères et qui maintenant est manifeste, est bien en somnambulisme, ainsi que le prouve une autre continuité de souvenirs que nous venons d’étudier. Mais ici encore l’état somnambulique n’est pas complet. Le second personnage a un peu d’ouïe qu’il a ravie au premier, il sent le toucher et les mouvements; mais il ne voit pas, du moins à l’ordinaire, il ne remue pas très facilement et surtout il ne parle pas ou très difficilement, toutes choses qu’il pourrait faire pendant le somnambulisme complet. C’est donc un demi-somnambulisme comme une demiveille, et M. Ch. Richet avait évidemment trouvé le mot juste, que nous garderons pour désigner cet état, quand il l’appelait un hémi-somnambulisme [13].

[13] Ch. Richet. Les mouvements inconscients, dans l’hommage à Chevreul, 93.

L’état précédent est un état transitoire et pour ainsi dire fragile qui oscille entre une veille plus parfaite et un somnambulisme complet.
Excitons encore un peu ces systèmes d’idées subconscientes, ou faisons disparaître par une fatigue quelconque cette première personnalité chancelante, et nous arrivons au somnambulisme véritable. La première personnalité n’existe plus, mais la seconde s’est enrichie de ses dépouilles, elle a pris maintenant, outre les phénomènes qui lui étaient propres, ceux qui appartenaient à l’autre synthèse; elle voit, elle remue, elle parle comme elle veut. Elle se souvient de son humble existence précédente: «C’est moi qui ai fait cela, qui ai senti cela» mais elle ne comprend pas comment elle ne pouvait ni bouger ni agir tout à l’heure, car elle ne se rend pas compte du changement qui s’est produit. Après le somnambulisme, la première personnalité reparaît et la seconde diminue sans disparaître entièrement. Celle-ci persiste plus ou moins longtemps suivant sa force et les suggestions posthypnotiques qui lui ont été faites; elle se relève de temps en temps pour les accomplir, puis elle diminue encore pour ne plus occuper que le petit espace que lui laissent les anesthésies pendant l’état de désagrégation qui est maintenant rétabli. Si le retour à la santé était complet, elle disparaîtrait entièrement et il y aurait une nouvelle restauration de l’unité psychique qui se ferait sans doute autour d’un autre centre, mais qui serait analogue, pour l’étendue du champ de la conscience et pour l’indépendance, au somnambulisme complet. Essayons, dans une nouvelle figure un peu moins schématique que la précédente, de représenter ces étendues relatives des diverses personnalités, en supposant pour plus de simplicité qu’il n’en existe que deux.

Psychological Automatism. Fig. 11.
Fig. 11.

Le problème des rapports entre la personnalité secondaire successive pendant le somnambulisme et la personnalité secondaire simultanée pendant la veille peut se présenter d’une manière plus précise et prendre une forme particulière: on sait que, pendant le somnambulisme complet, la seconde personne a la mémoire non seulement de ses propres actions pendant les somnambulismes précédents, ou même des actes qu’elle a faits pendant l’hémi-somnambulisme au-dessous de la conscience primaire, mais même des actions accomplies consciemment pendant la veille par la première personne, par «l’autre», comme disent les somnambules. Puisque cette personnalité somnambulique existe déjà pendant l’hémi-somnambulisme sous la conscience de la veille, n’est-il pas naturel qu’elle ait déjà à ce moment la connaissance des actes accomplis au-dessus d’elle par la personnalité ordinaire? J’avais été frappé par ce raisonnement et, dans mes premiers articles sur ce sujet, j’avais admis, comme une sorte de loi, que la première personnalité ignorait complètement la seconde agissant au-dessous d’elle, mais que celle-ci connaissait fort bien la première; je me servais même de cette remarque pour expliquer le souvenir de la veille pendant le somnambulisme. M. Gurney, qui, peu de temps après, publiait des études sur le même problème, admettait encore cette loi, mais commençait à faire des réserves [14].

[14] Proceed. S. P. R., 1887, 320.

«Dans bien des cas, disait-il, il n’est pas du tout évident que la seconde personnalité ait une connaissance exacte de la première au moment où elle agit au-dessus d’elle.» Non seulement je reconnais maintenant la justesse des réserves de M. Gurney, mais je suis disposé à les augmenter encore.
Il ne faut pas céder à cette illusion qui nous porte à identifier la seconde personnalité pendant le somnambulisme avec la seconde personnalité subconsciente pendant l’hémi-somnambulisme. Elle a, dans le premier état, quand elle est complète, des connaissances et des souvenirs qui sont dus aux sensibilités qu’elle a récupérées; elle a le souvenir des actes de la veille, parce qu’elle a repris les sensibilités de la veille, outre les siennes. Mais quand elle était rudimentaire ou imparfaite à côté de la conscience normale, elle n’avait pas ces sensibilités et ne devait pas avoir la connaissance complète de ce que faisait le premier personnage. Quand Lucie 1 ou Lucie 2, pour prendre un exemple, existent simultanément, elles agissent en général chacune de leur côté, et elles s’ignorent réciproquement. Si l’une connaissait l’autre, si les images du sens tactile s’associaient avec les images du sens visuel, une conscience commune au profit de l’une des deux personnes se reconstituerait, ce qui ne semble pas avoir lieu.
Une des grandes difficultés de l’observation, quand on veut vérifier ces choses, c’est qu’il n’est pas possible d’interroger la seconde personnalité sur un fait quelconque, sans lui en donner par là même la connaissance et sans l’enlever à la personnalité primaire. «Le personnage subconscient, disait M. Gurney [15], entend cependant des signaux, décrit des objets du monde extérieur dont on le prie de parler.»

[15] Proceed., 1887, 317.

Sans doute, mais il est facile de vérifier qu’à ce moment, la première personnalité ignore ces signaux et ne voit plus ces objets; quand le moi normal continue réellement à voir quelque chose, il n’est pas du tout certain que le moi anormal le voit aussi au même moment; nous n’osons plus conclure, comme M. Gurney, qu’il y a une différence entre les deux personnalités et que l’une connaît l’autre sans être connue par elle: la situation doit être la même pour les deux.

Il ne faut pas oublier d’ailleurs que nous ne parlons, dans ce chapitre, que des cas de désagrégation les plus simples, les plus théoriques en quelque sorte. Il est facile d’observer un très grand nombre de variétés et de complications dans lesquelles les deux personnages peuvent plus ou moins se connaître mutuellement et réagir l’un sur l’autre. Nous évitons d’entrer maintenant dans l’étude de ces complications.

L’examen de la figure schématique que nous venons d’étudier nous suggère encore une réflexion nouvelle qui a son intérêt. On remarque de suite que la représentation de l’état somnambulique complet est absolument identique à celle de la santé parfaite, ces deux états étant également caractérisés par la réunion de tous les phénomènes psychologiques dans une seule et même conscience. A un certain point de vue, cette ressemblance ne doit pas nous surprendre et s’accorde assez bien avec les études antérieures qui nous ont montré l’intégrité absolue de la sensibilité et de la volonté dans le somnambulisme complet, comme dans la santé parfaite. Mais, d’un autre côté, cette ressemblance soulève une difficulté. Ne savons-nous pas, en effet que, pendant le somnambulisme, la mémoire aussi est intacte et embrasse toutes les périodes de la vie, même les périodes de la veille, tandis que la veille et l’état normal seraient caractérisés par l’oubli des états somnambuliques. Comment, si cette différence dans l’état de la mémoire est bien réelle, ces deux états de somnambulisme complet et de santé parfaite pourraient-ils être identiques? Quand deux états psychologiques sont absolument semblables, la mémoire doit être réciproque.
Eh bien, peut-être en est-il réellement ainsi, peut-être l’état de santé parfaite, quand il existe, amène-t-il le souvenir complet du somnambulisme lui-même. Si nos sujets, après le réveil, ne conservent pas le souvenir de leur somnambulisme, c’est qu’ils ne reviennent pas à la santé parfaite et qu’ils gardent toujours des anesthésies et des distractions plus ou moins visibles; s’ils guérissaient radicalement, s’ils élargissaient leur champ de conscience jusqu’à embrasser définitivement dans leur perception personnelle, toutes les images, ils devraient retrouver tous les souvenirs qui en dépendent et se rappeler complètement même leurs périodes de crise ou de somnambulisme. Je dois dire que je n’ai jamais constaté ce retour de la mémoire et que cette remarque est fondée sur l’examen d’une figure schématique et sur le raisonnement plus que sur l’expérience. Peut-être aurait-on pu constater quelque chose de ce genre pendant les époques où Lucie semblait complètement guérie; mais je ne songeais alors à ce problème et je n’ai fait aucune recherche sur ce point. Je crois d’ailleurs qu’elles auraient eu un résultat négatif, jamais je n’ai vu ces personnes hystériques retrouver après leur guérison apparente le souvenir de leurs secondes existences. Peut-être, ces femmes jeunes encore et, chez qui, de légers signes d’hystérie reparaissent de temps en temps, n’ont-elles jamais une guérison assez complète pour que ce phénomène puisse être manifeste.

Ecerpt from page 345:
[translation by Google Translate]
The simultaneous psychological existences, which we have been obliged to admit in order to understand anesthesias, are due to this more or less complete persistence of the somnambulic state during waking.

[original in French]
Les existences psychologiques simultanées, que nous avons été obligé d’admettre pour comprendre les anesthésies, sont dues à cette persistance plus ou moins complète de l’état somnambulique pendant la veille.

Ecerpt from pages 355-356:
[translation by Google Translate]
The old magnetizers had already noticed that one can forbid a subject to make a certain movement, to pronounce such a word, or to write such a letter. “An individual cannot manage to write the letter A, he deletes it when he writes his name [1].”

[1] Dr Philips. Cours de braidisme, 120.

“Systematic paralysis consists of the loss of special movements, of adapted movements. The subject who is affected does not completely lose the use of his member; he is only incapable of using it to perform a specific act and this act alone [2].”

[2] Binet et Féré. Magnétisme animal, 253.


[original in French]
Les anciens magnétiseurs avaient déjà remarqué que l’on peut défendre à un sujet de faire un certain mouvement, de prononcer tel mot, ou d’écrire telle lettre. «Un individu ne peut arriver à écrire la lettre A, il la supprime quand il écrit son nom [1].»

[1] Dr Philips. Cours de braidisme, 120.

«Les paralysies systématiques consistent dans la perte de mouvements spéciaux, de mouvements adaptés. Le sujet qui en est atteint ne perd pas complètement l’usage de son membre; il est seulement incapable de s’en servir pour exécuter un acte déterminé et cet acte seul [2].»

[2] Binet et Féré. Magnétisme animal, 253.

Ecerpt from pages 373-376:
[translation by Google Translate]
To verify this, we will notice that these experiments with the explorer pendulum, for example, are all the more successful the more we choose a subject in whom this psychological disintegration is clearer and more advanced. Between the fingers of a hysterical anesthetic, the pendulum works wonders and executes all possible movements, because the muscular anesthesia is already complete and these sensations do not interfere with the movement produced by the visual or auditory images. So far these are only very light movements, “perhaps less a contraction than a release of muscle tension when the pendulum or the diviner moves in the right direction [1]”.

[1] Phantasms of the living., I, 14.

The group of subconscious phenomena does not intervene in an active way, it is content to retain muscular sensations outside of normal consciousness. But sometimes things are not so simple, and the movements produced are not only explicable by the action of conscious images. The movement, hardly begun by their influence, is increased, clarified, interpreted completely without the knowledge of the subject. To explain the particular experience of Osip Feldmann that I have related, we must suppose that the person intermediary between the willer and the diviner repeated, without knowing it, with his left hand the impressions he had received, without feeling them., on his right hand. The diviner who lets himself be guided does not always consciously interpret the little impulses he receives. He himself is quite surprised at the act he has performed and which he did not realize while doing it [2].

[2] Id., I, 16.

He assures us that he did not feel how we were leading him and that he does not know why he did one thing instead of another Much better, we have seen people play this role of diviner, without having the seem to understand the little impulses communicated to them, to accomplish nothing, and yet to be able to say exactly what we had thought, what we wanted to make them do, if we hypnotized them some time after the experience [3].

[3] Proceed. S. P. R, II, 22.

The sensation had belonged so well to the second consciousness that it only manifested itself in the second existence brought to light by sleepwalking. There is therefore, in some cases, more than an automatic act, an involuntary manifestation of a visual or auditory image; there is a real subconscious action, a real collaboration of the second personality with the first.

Such collaboration, evident in some cases, is not always easy to understand. Did we not admit, while making reservations, that the two groups of phenomena were reciprocally ignoring each other and that, consequently, they could not collaborate in the same work. Undoubtedly, the two personalities (we name them thus by convention, because, in the present case, the second is far from being complete) do not know each other directly and do not unite the different thoughts in the same consciousness. But they can know each other indirectly, just as we can know the ideas of others. One of the subjects I spoke of, N.... sometimes mixed up in her automatic writing words which had no meaning, but which were the reproduction of those she spoke by mouth. If I made him do an arithmetic operation unconsciously by writing and if another person asked him to pronounce digits consciously, we noticed in the writing the confusion of the two kinds of digits. This mixture also took place, but very rarely, at Léonie’s I do not remember ever having observed it with Lucie, but it is easily explained. It suffices that I pronounce a word for the hand of the subject to write it automatically; why not also write, as if from dictation, the words that the subject’s own mouth speaks? Communication between the two personalities is here the sound of speech, as between normal people. But let’s go further: we know that the second personality possesses tactile and muscular sensitivity in the anesthetic limbs and yet the first person can move them by means of visual images. Isn’t it natural that the unconscious feels these movements that it has not produced, but that it observes? I suggested to Leonie that if she touches my paper, her arm will be contracted. She has completely forgotten this commandment and wants to make a joke by tearing up my notes according to her deplorable habit: barely has she touched the paper than her arm stiffens. The contracture is indeed produced by the second person, who moreover boasts of it in writing: she therefore felt, through the kinesthetic sense, the movement that Léonie made, by means of the visual images, and the contact with the paper.. One of the observations which seemed to me the most original, in the article by MM. Binet and Féré on the unconscious acts of hysterics, relates to what they call, very fortunately, the stammering of writing. A hysteric, anesthetic with her right hand, could not write, even spontaneously, without repeating the same letter two or three times, without her knowing it. The collaboration is, in all these examples, evident: the act is started with the normal consciousness, thanks to the images which remain to it; this act provokes a muscular or other sensation in the second character and the latter, weak, unintelligent, repeats it or develops it automatically.
However, in some cases this explanation of collaboration may not be sufficient. It is very likely that conscious thought brings about, by association of ideas, other thoughts which, for their part, are subconscious and which then develop in their own way, without the person who felt the first phenomenon feeling the following ones. This supposition seems odd, because it must be admitted that the phenomena are, on the one hand, united by the association of ideas and, on the other, disaggregated into two personal perceptions, but this does not seem incomprehensible to us. However, as the explanation of this fact is more delicate and that it actually plays a rather weak role in the experiments which we have just reported, we refer this discussion to the end of this chapter where we will encounter more phenomena of this kind, numerous and more precise.
It suffices to note here that, either in one way or the other, the collaboration of the two groups of phenomena is necessary. M. Chevreul pushes as far as possible the explanation of facts by the tendency to movement created by conscious images, but when the facts go beyond this theory, he falls back into banal explanations by deceit and simulation. We must then see how easily M. de Mirville triumphs, by showing that the recording pendulum can be very spiritual without the person who holds it knowing anything, and he returns to his refrain: it is the demon or his subordinate agents who speak by the pendulum. We must go further than M. Chevreul and, after admitting acts without will, we must speak of thoughts without consciousness or outside our consciousness, if we want to get rid of the countless little devils of M. de Mirville.


[original in French]
Pour le vérifier, nous remarquerons que ces expériences du pendule explorateur, par exemple, réussissent d’autant mieux que l’on choisit un sujet chez qui cette désagrégation psychologique est plus nette et plus avancée. Entre les doigts d’une hystérique anesthésique, le pendule fait merveille et exécute tous les mouvements possibles, parce que l’anesthésie musculaire est déjà complète et que ces sensations ne viennent pas gêner le mouvement produit par les images visuelles ou auditives. Jusqu’ici ce ne sont que des mouvements très légers, «peut-être moins une contraction qu’un relâchement de la tension musculaire au moment où le pendule ou le devin s’avance dans la bonne direction [1]».

[1] Phantasms of the living., I, 14.

Le groupe des phénomènes subconscients n’intervient pas d’une manière active, il se contente de retenir au dehors de la conscience normale les sensations musculaires. Mais quelquefois les choses ne sont pas aussi simples, et les mouvements produits ne sont pas uniquement explicables par l’action des images conscientes. Le mouvement, à peine commencé par leur influence, est augmenté, précisé, interprété tout à fait à l’insu du sujet. Pour expliquer l’expérience particulière d’Osip Feldmann que j’ai rapportée, il faut supposer que la personne intermédiaire entre le willer et le devin répétait, sans le savoir, de la main gauche les impressions qu’elle avait reçues, sans les sentir, sur sa main droite. Le devin qui se laisse guider n’interprète pas toujours consciemment les petites impulsions qu’il reçoit. Il est lui-même tout surpris de l’acte qu’il a accompli et dont il ne se rendait pas compte en le faisant [2].

[2] Id., I, 16.

Il assure qu’il n’a pas senti comment on le dirigeait et qu’il ne sait pourquoi il a fait une chose au lieu d’une autre Bien mieux, on a vu des personnes jouer ce rôle de devin, sans avoir l’air de comprendre les petites impulsions qui leur étaient communiquées, ne rien accomplir, et cependant pouvoir dire exactement ce qu’on avait pensé, ce qu’on avait voulu leur faire faire, si on les hypnotisait quelque temps après l’expérience [3].

[3] Proceed. S. P. R, II, 22.

La sensation avait si bien appartenu à la seconde conscience qu’elle ne se manifestait que dans la seconde existence mise au jour par le somnambulisme. Il y a donc, dans certains cas, plus qu’un acte automatique, manifestation involontaire d’une image visuelle ou auditive; il y a une véritable action subconsciente, une véritable collaboration de la seconde personnalité avec la première.

Une pareille collaboration, évidente dans certains cas, n’est pas toujours facile à comprendre. N’avons-nous pas admis, tout en faisant des réserves, que les deux groupes de phénomènes s’ignoraient réciproquement et que, par conséquent, ils ne pouvaient pas collaborer à une même œuvre. Sans doute, les deux personnalités (nous les nommons ainsi par convention, car, dans le cas présent, la seconde est loin d’être complète) ne se connaissent pas directement et ne réunissent pas les différentes pensées dans une même conscience. Mais elles peuvent se connaître indirectement, comme nous pouvons connaître les idées d’autrui. Un des sujets dont j’ai parlé, N.... mêlait quelquefois dans son écriture automatique des mots qui n’avaient point de sens, mais qui étaient la reproduction de ceux qu’elle prononçait par la bouche. Si je lui faisais faire une opération arithmétique inconsciemment par l’écriture et si une autre personne lui demandait de prononcer des chiffres consciemment, on constatait dans l’écriture la confusion des deux sortes de chiffres. Ce mélange eut lieu aussi, mais très rarement, chez Léonie je ne me souviens pas de l’avoir jamais constaté avec Lucie mais il s’explique facilement. Il suffit que je prononce un mot pour que la main du sujet l’écrive automatiquement; pourquoi n’écrirait-elle pas aussi comme sous la dictée, les mots que prononce la bouche même du sujet? La communication entre les deux personnalités est ici le son de la parole, comme entre des personnes normales. Mais allons plus loin: nous savons que la seconde personnalité possède la sensibilité tactile et musculaire dans les membres anesthésiques et que cependant la première personne peut les mouvoir au moyen des images visuelles. N’est-il pas naturel que l’inconscient sente ces mouvements qu’il n’a pas produits, mais qu’il constate. J’ai suggéré à Léonie que si elle touche mon papier, elle aura le bras contracturé. Elle a oublié complètement ce commandement et veut faire une plaisanterie en déchirant mes notes suivant sa déplorable habitude: à peine a-t-elle touché le papier que son bras se raidit. La contracture est bien produite par la seconde personne, qui d’ailleurs s’en vante par écrit: elle a donc senti, par le sens kinesthésique, le mouvement que Léonie faisait, elle, au moyen des images visuelles, et le contact du papier. Une des observations qui m’ont paru les plus originales, dans l’article de MM. Binet et Féré sur les actes inconscients des hystériques, a rapport à ce qu’ils appellent, très heureusement, le bégaiement de l’écriture. Une hystérique, anesthésique de la main droite, ne pouvait écrire, même spontanément, sans répéter deux ou trois fois, et à son insu, la même lettre. La collaboration est, dans tous ces exemples, évidente: l’acte est commencé par la conscience normale, grâce aux images qui lui restent; cet acte provoque une sensation musculaire ou autre, chez le second personnage et celui-ci faible, inintelligent, la répète ou la développe automatiquement.
Cependant, dans certains cas, cette explication de la collaboration ne doit pas être suffisante. Il est très probable que la pensée consciente amène, par association d’idées, d’autres pensées qui, elles, sont subconscientes et qui se développent alors à leur façon, sans que la personne qui a senti le premier phénomène sente les suivants. Cette supposition semble bizarre, car il faut admettre que les phénomènes sont, d’un côté, réunis par l’association des idées et, de l’autre, désagrégés en deux perceptions personnelles, mais cela ne nous paraît pas incompréhensible. Cependant comme l’explication de ce fait est plus délicate et qu’il joue en réalité un rôle assez faible dans les expériences que nous venons de rapporter, nous renvoyons cette discussion à la fin de ce chapitre où nous rencontrerons des phénomènes de ce genre plus nombreux et plus précis.
Il suffit de constater ici que, soit d’une manière soit de l’autre, la collaboration des deux groupes de phénomènes est nécessaire. M. Chevreul pousse aussi loin que possible l’explication des faits par la tendance au mouvement créée par les images conscientes, mais quand les faits dépassent cette théorie, il retombe dans les explications banales par la fourberie et la simulation. Il faut voir alors comme M. de Mirville triomphe facilement, en montrant que le pendule enregistreur peut être très spirituel sans que la personne qui le tient en sache rien, et il revient à son refrain: c’est le démon ou ses agents subalternes qui parlent par le pendule. Il faut aller plus loin que M. Chevreul et, après avoir admis des actes sans volonté, il faut parler des pensées sans conscience ou en dehors de notre conscience, si l’on veut se débarrasser des innombrables petits diables de M. de Mirville.

Ecerpt from pages 379-381:
[translation by Google Translate]
However, these procedures were still very primitive and very complicated; they were perfected in two ways. On the one hand, we simplified the signs that the tables had to use and, by successive progress that I cannot review [1], we tried the faster and more famous signs of writing.

[1] Cf. Bersot. Op. cit., 107.

First we attached a pencil to the foot of a light table, then we used for this purpose smaller pedestal tables, simple baskets, hats, and finally small boards specially built for this use and which write under the most slight impulse. On the other hand, great progress was made by the discovery of mediums. It was not long before we noticed that the ten or twelve people gathered around the table did not all play an equally important role. Most of them could withdraw without inconvenience, without the movements of the table being stopped or modified. Some, on the contrary, seemed indispensable, because, if they were to withdraw, all the phenomena were suppressed and the table did not move any more. We designated under the name of mediums these people whose presence, whose intermediary was necessary to obtain the movements and the answers of the talking tables.
Thanks to these advances, operations become simpler and more regular: instead of a dozen people standing around a table, listening and counting the number of noises it makes in its movement, there is no longer a than the medium, with the hand resting on a small movable board, or even, in most cases, directly holding a pencil. His hand, carried along by a movement of which he does not realize, writes, without the help of his will or his thought, things which he himself ignores and which he is quite surprised to read afterwards.
Mediums, these essential and privileged individuals, do not all have the same powers and fall into innumerable categories that we cannot all enumerate: mediums with physical effects or typtologous mediums, like the Fox misses in America, provoke by their very presence, noises in the walls or under the tables; mechanical mediums use a board, a spinning top, a basket, etc. [2]; gesticulating mediums answer questions by involuntary movements of the head, body, hand, or by running their fingers over the letters of an alphabet with extreme speed [3]; writing mediums hold the pencil themselves, and write right side up or upside down, or use specular writing [4], or obtain variously transformed writings; the drawing mediums let their hand wander at random and are quite surprised to see “the house inhabited by Mozart in the planet Jupiter all in musical notes [5]”.

[2] Allan Kardec. Op. cit., 196.
[3] Bersot. Op. cit., 123.
[4] Gibier. Le spiritisme ou fakirisme occidental, 1887, 170.
[5] Gibier. Le spiritisme ou fakirisme occidental, 1887, 220.

It is the work of one of these drawing mediums that the Revue spirite offered as a bonus to its subscribers: “a superb head of Christ composed and drawn medianly by the medium J. Fabre, photographic reproduction, 3 fr. 50 [6]”.

[6] Revue spirite, 1876, 136.

Some of these draw only the background of their painting, the figures stand out in clear as on photographers’ negatives. There are pantomime mediums “who imitate, without being able to realize it, the face, the voice, the appearance of people they have never seen, and act out scenes from the lives of these people of a in such a way that one cannot help but recognize the individual they represent [7]”.

[7] Mystères de la danse des tables, 15.

Speaking mediums cannot prevent their mouths from speaking words whose meaning they do not suspect and which they are quite surprised to hear; the same power “acts in them on the organ of speech, as it acts on the hand of writing mediums.... The medium expresses himself without being aware of what he is saying, whatever it may be perfectly awake and in his normal state... he rarely keeps the memory of what he said [8]”.

[8] Allan Kardec. Op. cit., 203.

Hearing or visual mediums unwillingly hear words or see performances which they then report voluntarily [9].

[9] Allan Kardec. Op. cit., 203.

Finally, intuitive or impressionable mediums “are affected mentally and then translate their impressions into writing or speaking” [10].

[10] Journal du magnétisme, 1854, 92.

All these varieties, especially the last ones, are very interesting to know and sometimes seem to come close to many known facts.
“What distinguishes the so-called American spiritualist school”, writes the Revue spirite, “is the predominance of the phenomenal part, in the European school one notices on the contrary the predominance of the philosophical part [11]”.

[11] Revue spirite, 1864, 148.

This remark seems fairly correct: French observers seem to care very little about the physical phenomena which had initially attracted attention, the blows in the walls or the dancing of the tables; they hardly concern themselves either with the conditions under which the medium writes, nor with the external circumstances of the phenomenon; they are only concerned with what they call the philosophical part, that is to say the very content of the message they seek to interpret. This choice was perhaps not very happy, because it leads them to many strange assumptions.
All agree on one point, which is that the words, the ideas contained in this message must come from an intelligence foreign to that of the medium himself; but they are far from agreeing on the nature of this intelligence. Some claim that this intelligence is certainly that of an evil and diabolical spirit and see in these mysterious writings only manifestations of the demon. It is the thesis of Chevalier Gouguenot des Mousseaux, M. de Mirville and M. de Richemond which thus ends his mystery of the dance of the tables: “Instead of looking at and making the tables dance, priests and lay faithful will shudder, by thinking of the danger which threatened them, and their faith, rejuvenated by the sight of the prestige which recall the times of the primitive Church, will become capable of lifting mountains. So, grabbing their pastoral staff in defense of their dear flock, NN. SS. the bishops, and, if necessary, N. S. P. the Pope himself, will cry out in the name of the one to whom all power has been given in heaven, on earth and in hell: “Vade retro, satanas” (translation from Latin: “Go back, Satan”), word who will never have received a more just application [12].”

[12] Mystère de la danse des tables, 31.

But most of the people who were innocently turning tables could not accept such a terrible assumption and did not understand this solemn warning. They assumed, to explain the messages of their mediums, always intelligent causes, but much more harmless. They were simply the souls of the great men of antiquity, of our relatives or of our friends who preceded us in the other world and who, by this process, are willing to maintain friendly relations with us. It was easy to build on this datum a little system of elementary philosophy which somehow explained most of the observed facts and at the same time gave satisfaction to the deepest feelings of the human heart and food for the love of the marvelous. It was the work of a certain Mr. Rival, a former salesman of counter-marks, it seems [13], who wrote, under the name of Allan Kardec, the code and the gospel of spiritualism.

[13] Gilles de la Tourette. Hypnotisme, 476.

His “Livre des esprits [14]” (translation: “Book of Spirits”) is so named because it is “dictated, reviewed and corrected by the spirits”, had a very great success; all the other authors, newspapers and magazines which were more and more numerous [15] and, oddly enough, the mediums themselves in their automatic writing soon did no more than comment on it.

[14] Spiritualist philosophy, Le livre des Esprits, containing the principles of the spiritualist doctrine, on the immortality of the soul, the nature of spirits and their relations with men according to the teaching given by the higher spirits with the help of various mediums, collected and put in order by Allan Kardec, 11th edition, 1864.
[15] In 1864, there were 10 in Europe, and in 1876, there were 46.

“This book”, says the Revue spirite, which was also founded by Allan Kardec, “rightly, is today the point at which the majority of minds converge [16].”

[16] Revue spirite, 1864, 4.

It is absolutely useless to summarize here this philosophical system which, moreover, has no kind of interest; this study was made in the little book of M. Tissandier which examines less the facts than the theories of spiritualism [17].

[17] Tissandier. Des sciences occultes et du spiritisme, 1866.

It suffices to know that this doctrine is a mixture of current religious ideas and banal spiritualism, that it naturally supports the doctrine of the immortality of souls and complements it with a vague theory of reincarnation analogous to transmigration and to the metempsychosis of the ancients. The only slightly original idea, although already known, is the theory of the perisprit: it is a material envelope, although impalpable, that the mind drags with it and which, like Cudworth’s plastic mediator, establishes an intermediary between soul and body. It is thanks to the perisprit that the spirit embodied in a body sets its members in motion and that, disembodied after death, it enters into relation with the tables or with the hand of mediums.



[original in French]
Cependant ces procédés étaient encore bien primitifs et bien compliqués; on les perfectionna de deux manières. D’un côté, on simplifia les signes dont les tables devaient se servir et, par des progrès successifs que je ne puis passer en revue [1], on essaya les signes plus rapides et plus connus de l’écriture.

[1] Cf. Bersot. Op. cit., 107.

D’abord on attacha un crayon au pied d’une table légère, puis on se servit pour cet usage de guéridons plus petits, de simples corbeilles, de chapeaux, et enfin de petites planchettes spécialement construites pour cet usage et qui écrivent sous la plus légère impulsion. D’autre part, un grand progrès fut accompli par la découverte des médiums. On ne tarda pas à remarquer, en effet, que les dix ou douze personnes réunies autour de la table ne jouaient pas toutes un rôle également important. La plupart pouvaient se retirer sans inconvénient, sans que les mouvements de la table fussent arrêtés ou modifiés. Quelques-unes, au contraire, semblaient indispensables, car, si elles se retiraient, tous les phénomènes étaient supprimés et la table ne bougeait plus. On désigna sous le nom de médiums ces personnes dont la présence, dont l’intermédiaire était nécessaire pour obtenir les mouvements et les réponses des tables parlantes.
Grâce à ces progrès, les opérations deviennent plus simples et plus régulières: au lieu d’une douzaine de personnes debout autour d’une table, écoutant et comptant le nombre des bruits qu’elle produit dans son mouvement, il n’y a plus que le médium, la main appuyée sur une petite planchette mobile, ou même, dans la plupart des cas, tenant directement un crayon. Sa main, entraînée par un mouvement dont il ne se rend pas compte, écrit, sans le concours de sa volonté ni de sa pensée, des choses qu’il ignore lui-même et qu’il est tout surpris de lire ensuite.
Les médiums, ces individus essentiels et privilégiés, n’ont pas, tous, les mêmes pouvoirs et se rangent en catégories innombrables que nous ne pouvons énumérer toutes: les médiums à effets physiques ou les médiums typtologues, comme les misses Fox en Amérique, provoquent, par leur seule présence, des bruits dans les murs ou sous les tables; les médiums mécaniques se servent d’une planchette, d’une toupie, d’une corbeille à bec, etc. [2]; les médiums gesticulants répondent aux questions par des mouvements involontaires de la tête, du corps, de la main, ou bien en promenant les doigts sur les lettres d’un alphabet avec une extrême vitesse [3]; les médiums écrivants tiennent le crayon eux-mêmes, et écrivent à l’endroit ou à l’envers, ou se servent de l’écriture spéculaire [4], ou obtiennent des écritures diversement transformées; les médiums dessinateurs laissent leur main errer au hasard et sont tout surpris de voir «la maison habitée par Mozart dans la planète Jupiter toute en notes de musique [5]».

[2] Allan Kardec. Op. cit., 196.
[3] Bersot. Op. cit., 123.
[4] Gibier. Le spiritisme ou fakirisme occidental, 1887, 170.
[5] Gibier. Le spiritisme ou fakirisme occidental, 1887, 220.

C’est l’œuvre d’un de ces médiums dessinateurs que la Revue spirite offrait en prime à ses abonnés: «une superbe tête de Christ composée et dessinée médianimiquement par le médium J. Fabre, reproduction photographique, 3 fr. 50 [6]».

[6] Revue spirite, 1876, 136.

Quelques-uns, parmi ceux-ci, dessinent seulement le fond de leur tableau, les figures ressortent en clair comme sur les négatifs des photographes. Il y a des médiums pantomimes «qui imitent, sans pouvoir s’en rendre compte, la figure, la voix, la tournure des personnes qu’ils n’ont jamais vues, et jouent des scènes de la vie de ces personnes d’une telle façon qu’on ne peut s’empêcher de reconnaître l’individu qu’ils représentent [7]».

[7] Mystères de la danse des tables, 15.

Les médiums parlants ne peuvent empêcher leur bouche de dire des paroles dont ils ne soupçonnent pas le sens et qu’ils sont tout surpris d’entendre; la même puissance «agit chez eux sur l’organe de la parole, comme elle agit sur la main des médiums écrivants.... Le médium s’exprime sans avoir la conscience de ce qu’il dit, quoi qu’il soit parfaitement éveillé et dans son état normal... Il conserve rarement le souvenir de ce qu’il a dit [8]».

[8] Allan Kardec. Op. cit., 203.

Les médiums auditifs ou visuels entendent malgré eux des paroles ou voient des spectacles qu’ils rapportent ensuite volontairement [9].

[9] Allan Kardec. Op. cit., 203.

Enfin les médiums intuitifs ou impressibles «sont affectés mentalement et ils traduisent ensuite leurs impressions par l’écriture ou la parole» [10].

[10] Journal du magnétisme, 1854, 92.

Toutes ces variétés, les dernières surtout, sont très intéressantes à connaître et semblent quelquefois se rapprocher de bien des faits connus.
«Ce qui distingue l’école spirite, dite américaine, écrit la Revue spirite, c’est la prédominance de la partie phénoménale, dans l’école européenne on remarque au contraire la prédominance de la partie philosophique [11]».

[11] Revue spirite, 1864, 148.

Cette remarque paraît assez juste: les observateurs français semblent se préoccuper fort peu des phénomènes physiques qui avaient au début attiré l’attention, des coups dans les murs ou de la danse des tables; ils ne s’occupent guère non plus des conditions dans lesquelles le médium écrit, ni des circonstances extérieures du phénomène; ils ne s’occupent que de ce qu’ils appellent la partie philosophique, c’est-à-dire le contenu même du message qu’ils cherchent à interpréter. Ce choix n’était peut-être pas fort heureux, car il les conduit à bien d’étranges suppositions.
Tous s’accordent sur un point, c’est que les paroles, les idées contenues dans ce message doivent provenir d’une intelligence étrangère à celle du médium lui-même; mais ils sont loin de s’entendre sur la nature de cette intelligence. Les uns prétendent que cette intelligence est certainement celle d’un esprit mauvais et diabolique et ne voient dans ces écritures mystérieuses que des manifestations du démon. C’est la thèse du chevalier Gouguenot des Mousseaux, de M. de Mirville et de M. de Richemond qui termine ainsi son mystère de la danse des tables: «Au lieu de regarder et de faire danser des tables, prêtres et laïques fidèles frémiront en pensant au danger qui les a menacés, et leur foi, rajeunie par la vue des prestiges qui rappellent les temps de la primitive Église, deviendra capable de soulever des montagnes. Alors, saisissant leur bâton pastoral pour la défense de leur cher troupeau, NN. SS. les évêques, et, s’il le faut, N. S. P. le pape lui-même, s’écrieront au nom de celui à qui tout pouvoir a été donné au ciel, sur la terre et aux enfers: «Vade retro, satanas,» parole qui n’aura jamais reçu une plus juste application [12].»

[12] Mystère de la danse des tables, 31.

Mais la plupart des personnes qui faisaient innocemment tourner des tables ne purent accepter une supposition aussi terrible et ne comprirent pas cet avertissement solennel. Ils supposèrent, pour expliquer les messages de leurs médiums, des causes toujours intelligentes, mais beaucoup plus inoffensives. C’étaient simplement les âmes des grands hommes de l’antiquité, de nos parents ou de nos amis qui nous ont précédés dans l’autre monde et qui, par ce procédé, veulent bien entretenir avec nous des relations amicales. Il était facile d’échafauder sur cette donnée un petit système de philosophie élémentaire qui expliquât tant bien que mal la plupart des faits observés et donnât en même temps une satisfaction aux sentiments les plus profonds du cœur humain et une pâture à l’amour du merveilleux. Ce fut l’œuvre d’un certain M. Rival, ancien vendeur de contre-marques, paraît-il [13], qui rédigea, sous le nom d’Allan Kardec, le code et l’évangile du spiritisme.

[13] Gilles de la Tourette. Hypnotisme, 476.

Son «Livre des esprits [14]» ainsi nommé parce qu’il est «dicté, revu et corrigé par les esprits», eut un très grand succès; tous les autres auteurs, les journaux et les revues qui étaient de plus en plus nombreux [15] et, chose curieuse, les médiums eux-mêmes dans leur écriture automatique, ne firent bientôt plus que de le commenter.

[14] Philosophie spiritualiste, Le livre des Esprits, contenant les principes de la doctrine spirite, sur l’immortalité de l’âme, la nature des esprits et leurs rapports avec les hommes selon l’enseignement donné par les esprits supérieurs à l’aide de divers médiums, recueillis et mis en ordre par Allan Kardec, 11e édition, 1864.
[15] En 1864, on en remarque 10 en Europe, et, en 1876, on en compte 46.

«Ce livre, dit avec raison la Revue spirite, qui était d’ailleurs fondée par Allan Kardec, est aujourd’hui le point auquel converge la majorité des esprits [16].

[16] Revue spirite, 1864, 4.

Il est absolument inutile de résumer ici ce système philosophique qui n’a d’ailleurs aucune espèce d’intérêt; cette étude a été faite dans le petit livre de M. Tissandier qui examine moins les faits que les théories du spiritisme [17].

[17] Tissandier. Des sciences occultes et du spiritisme, 1866.

Il suffit de savoir que cette doctrine est un mélange des idées religieuses courantes et d’un spiritualisme banal, qu’elle soutient naturellement la doctrine de l’immortalité des âmes et la complète par une théorie vague de la réincarnation analogue à la transmigration et à la métempsychose des anciens. La seule idée un peu originale, quoique déjà connue, c’est la théorie du périsprit: c’est une enveloppe matérielle, bien qu’impalpable, que l’esprit traîne avec lui et qui, à la manière du médiateur plastique de Cudworth, établit un intermédiaire entre l’âme et le corps. C’est grâce au périsprit que l’esprit incarné dans un corps met en mouvement ses membres et que, désincarné après la mort, il entre en relation avec les tables ou avec la main des médiums.

Ecerpt from pages 397-398:
[translation by Google Translate]
IV. Spiritism and psychological disintegration

“Everything is said...”, people wrote already in the seventeenth century, and naturally this remark of the moralist is even more true today: the hypotheses which seem the most original and the most unexpected have had precursors which had already expressed them without our deigning to pay attention to them. The theories of psychological disintegration which have just been studied very recently by M. Ch. Richet, by M. Myers, and which I had tried to complete myself, seemed to me absolutely new, when, to my great surprise, I found them perfectly expressed in a small work which dates back to 1855. It is a short brochure of 93 pages without author’s name which I took on the docks because of the singularity of the title: “Second letter of Great John to his bishop about talking tables, possessions and other devils. Paris, Ledoyen, 1855.” I have not been able to find the real name of the one who conceals himself thus: I think he is a philosopher who is attached to the eclectic school of which he has the clarity, the easy and pleasant style, and whose doctrines he shares. He is accustomed, like the psychologists of this school, to personify the faculties of the human mind, but by this means he manages to explain in the most sensible and scientific manner phenomena so little studied and so poorly understood of his time.

[original in French]
IV. Le spiritisme et la désagrégation psychologique

«Tout est dit...», écrivait-on déjà au dix-septième siècle, et naturellement cette remarque du moraliste est encore bien plus vraie aujourd’hui: les hypothèses qui semblent les plus originales et les plus inattendues ont eu des précurseurs qui les avaient déjà exprimées sans que l’on daignât y faire attention. Les théories de la désagrégation psychologique qui viennent d’être étudiées tout récemment par M. Ch. Richet, par M. Myers, et que j’avais essayé de compléter moi-même, me semblaient absolument nouvelles, quand, à ma grande surprise, Je les ai trouvées parfaitement exprimées dans un petit ouvrage qui remonte à 1855. C’est une courte brochure de 93 pages sans nom d’auteur que j’ai prise sur les quais à cause de la singularité du titre: «Seconde lettre de gros Jean à son évêque au sujet des tables parlantes, des possessions et autres diableries. Paris, Ledoyen, 1855.» Je n’ai pu retrouver le nom véritable de celui qui se dissimule ainsi: je pense que c’est un philosophe qui se rattache à l’école éclectique dont il a la clarté, le style aisé et agréable, et dont il partage les doctrines. Il a l’habitude, comme les psychologues de cette école, de personnifier les facultés de l’esprit humain, mais il arrive par ce moyen à expliquer de la manière la plus sensée et la plus scientifique des phénomènes si peu étudiés et si mal compris de son temps.

Ecerpt from pages 401-419:
[translation by Google Translate]
The essential point of spiritualism is, we believe, as Great John says, the disintegration of psychological phenomena and the formation, apart from personal perception, of a second series of thoughts unrelated to the first.. As to the means which the second personality employs to manifest himself without the knowledge of the first, movement of tables, automatic writing or speaking, etc., this is a secondary question. Where do the noises heard in the tables or in the walls come from, answering questions? Is it from a movement of the toes, from this contraction of the peroneal tendon supposed by Jobert de Lamballe and which made so much noise at the Academy? Is it a contraction of the stomach and a real ventriloquism, as Great John supposes it, or another particular physical action still unknown? Are they produced by automatic movements of the medium himself, or else, as seems to me probable in certain cases, in the midst of the darkness claimed by the spiritualists, by the subconscious actions of one of the assistants, who deceives others and deceives himself, and who becomes a friend without knowing it? It doesn’t matter now. This action, whatever it may be, is always an involuntary and unconscious action of one or the other, and “the involuntary speech of the intestines is no more miraculous than the involuntary speech of the mouth [1]”.

[1] Lettre de Gros Jean à son évêque … 1855, 31.

It is the psychological side of the phenomenon which is the most interesting and which needs to be studied further.

Although the work we have just analyzed was written in 1855, it was not understood and had no influence, neither on the spiritualists, which is natural, nor on the psychologists, which is more astonishing; some continued to admire, others to mock the talking tables, without their study advancing otherwise. However, we must point out a few short but fairly clear passages from M. Liébault, which express a similar opinion: “This doubling of the action of attention in intellectual operations also takes place during waking, and then these operations on two opposing planes do not always both present themselves to consciousness, it is often one that is unconscious [2].”

[2] Liébault. Du sommeil, 1866, 249.

Littré, in his Philosophie positive, 1878, and Dagonet in the Annales médico-psychologiques, 1881, allude to similar theories to explain the speeches of the convulsants of the Cévennes [3].

[3] Cf. Myers. Automatic writing. Proceed., 1885, 61.

M. Taine, as we have already pointed out, indicates in his preface a rather ordinary case of automatic writing; he notices that the fact is curious, but does not insist otherwise.
We have to go to the last few years to find, in an article by M. Ch. Richet, the precise expression of a theory of spiritualism, comparable to that which we have just read: “Let us suppose”, he said, “that there is in some individuals a state of hemisomnambulism such that part of the brain produces thoughts, receives perceptions, without the ego being aware of it. The consciousness of this individual persists in its apparent integrity: however very complicated operations will be accomplished outside of consciousness, without the voluntary and conscious self appearing to feel any modification. Another person will be in him who will act, think, will, without consciousness, that is to say the reflected, conscious self, having the slightest notion of it [4].”

[4] Ch. Richet. La suggestion mentale et le calcul des probabilités. Revue philosophique, 1884, II, 650.

And elsewhere: “These unconscious movements are not left to chance; they follow, at least when operating with certain mediums, a true logical direction, which makes it possible to demonstrate, alongside the conscious, normal, regular thought of the medium, the simultaneous existence of another collateral thought which follows its periods clean, and which would not appear to consciousness, if it were not revealed to the outside by this bizarre recording device [5].”

[5] Id. Les mouvements inconscients dans l’hommage à M. Chevreul, 1886.

We find, it seems, similar ideas and a more complete study of this interpretation of spiritualism in two German works that I have not had the opportunity to read, the “Philosophie der mystick” by Baron du Prel [6] and the book by M. Hellenbach, entitled: “Geburt und Tod [7].”

[6] Leipzig, 1885.
[7] Vienne, 1885.

But the author who, to my knowledge, has contributed the most to developing the scientific study of spiritual phenomena is certainly Mr. Fr. Myers. This author, in fact, in several important articles published by the “Society for psychical research [8]” has set forth a very ingenious theory, both psychological and physiological, of mental disaggregation.

[8] On a telepathic explanation of some so-called spiritualistic phenomena. Proceed. S. P. R, II, 217. Automatic writing. Ibid., 1885.

We will not expound here the theories of Mr. Myers on spiritualism, they are more developed than the preceding ones, and enter more into the detail of the phenomena. We prefer to set out first, in a general way, how we relate these facts to the studies which we have just made in this work, to return then to the points of detail which separate our interpretation from that of M. Myers.
At about the same time, in fact, without knowing any of the works of which we have just spoken and without thinking of studying spiritualism, we were examining, from the psychological point of view, the somnambulism of hysterics and the acts they performed by suggestion. This study has led us to observe subconscious acts, partial anesthesias, automatic writings, in a word all the characteristics of spiritual phenomena. While these authors proceeded from the study of spiritualism to the theory of multiple personalities and to the study of hypnotism, we found ourselves joining them, albeit from a very opposite point of departure. This encounter leads us to believe, which seems easy to demonstrate, that the phenomena observed by the spiritualists are exactly identical to those of natural or artificial sleepwalking and that we have the right to apply literally to this new question the theories and conclusions we reached in the previous chapter.

V. Comparison of psychics and sleepwalkers

The first remark which will bring spiritualism closer to our previous studies is that most of the mediums, whose descriptions we read, have gaits and present sickly accidents which are not unknown to us; almost always (I do not say always so as not to prejudge an important question), they are neuropaths, when they are not frankly hysterics. The movement of the tables begins only when women or children, that is to say people predisposed to nervous accidents come to put their hands on them [9]; while we are making the chain around a table which operates very well, we are unfortunately obliged to stop, because two ladies fall backwards in convulsions [10].

[9] Baragnon. Magnétisme animal, 375.
[10] Silas. Op. cit., 20.

A man who had a lot of action on the talking table was unfortunately affected by a continual shaking and swinging of his arms that made it difficult even to eat [11].

[11] Id, Ibid., 22.

A young girl, an excellent medium, had a violent nervous breakdown when she was shown a blessed rosary while she was engaged in these spiritual operations [12].

[12] Mirville. Op. cit., II, 97.

“This is probably because of the horror that demons have for the rosary.” Yes, maybe; but it is also permissible to suppose something else. “When spirits get angry, mediums are suddenly plunged into a state of nervous disturbance or tetanic stiffness... [13].”

[13] Id. Ibid., I, 405.

We often read in American relations that speaking mediums have been “vigorously exercised [14]”, violently tormented by the spirits, which means in good French that they had in the middle of their operations a violent crisis of nerves.

[14] Mystères de la danse des tables, 15.

In English relations, on the contrary, we are very sober about information on this point, at the most we notice from time to time that the medium presents some choreic movements [15], or else that the experiences of automatic writing tire him enormously and that we are obliged to interrupt them because of his delicate health [16].

[15] Myers. Proceed., 1885, 32.
[16] Id, Ibid., 1885, 9.

I admit that I would have been curious to have some additional information on this delicate health. But this discretion of the English authors on the accidents of their mediums is linked to a general opinion on mental disintegration which we will discuss separately. So let’s not say that all mediums have nervous attacks, which would be exaggerated, but that they very often have them and that their operations predispose to nervous accidents.
Nothing is more decisive, from this point of view, than an observation by M. Charcot on several young people from the same family who all become hysterical as a result of the practices of spiritualism [17].

[17] Charcot. Maladies du système nerveux, III, 228.

This coincidence between the nervous breakdown and the act of writing unconsciously is found in our subjects. Sometimes a crisis of hysteria which begins can be transformed by suggestion into unconscious movements and automatic acts, sometimes attempts to induce partial catalepy and subconscious writing lead to a crisis of hysteria. G... could easily and safely be put into full sleepwalking, but she could not tolerate hemi-sleepwalking. I had to give up studying the suggestions on them by distraction in the waking state: they inevitably brought on a nervous breakdown, which had to be stopped by complete somnambulism.
If mediums do not present nervous accidents at the moment when they evoke spirits, they do not always remain unscathed, and they often fatally end their brilliant careers. Sooner or later many of them fall into “subjugation”, as Allan Kardec puts it with a happy euphemism, that is to say, they simply end up in madness [18]: unfortunately everyone knows several examples.

[18] Silas. Op. cit., 23. Revue spirite, 1877, 141. Cf. Maudsley. Pathologie de l’esprit, trad. 1883, 85.

Must we say that it is spiritualism which made them mad; I think it would be exaggerating, but the faculty of medium “must depend on a particular morbid state analogous to that from which hysteria or alienation may arise later – mediumship is a symptom and not a cause.
Never are these relations between mediumship and nervous accidents so visible as when the spiritualists take it upon themselves to treat a true hysteric who has convulsive fits. Here is a summary of two observations which are very instructive: A young girl had violent fits of hysteria, the assistants put in her mind that she is possessed by a wicked spirit named Fredégonde, and here she is now, in her fits, Frédégonde and talks about it constantly. “I see”, she said, “luminous spirits that Fredégonde does not dare look at, etc.” She is asked, while she is in crisis, to pray for her enemy in order to appease her. “Oh! I will do it well”, she said, “I forgive Frédégonde,” and from that moment the crises subside [19].

[19] Revue spirite, 1864, 14.

Another hysteric having convulsive accidents, the spirits, immediately consulted by the intermediary of a medium, declare that she is under a fatal influence, that of an evil spirit named Jules. The aforementioned Jules is then challenged, with caution it is true, because his evocation tires the medium; we speak to him gently and in a pleasant tone so as not to anger him too much. After much talking and epic adventures, especially thanks to the intervention of a good little spirit named Carita, we get from this ugly Jules the promise that he will leave his victim alone. The hysteric naturally, from the first news of these negotiations, had changed the nature of her crises and did not stop shouting during her fits: “Go away, go away.” When she learned of the conclusion of the peace treaty, she calmed down and obtained a relative cure [20].

[20] Revue spirite, 1864, 177.

Although I do not have such authority over the spirits of the unseen world, I have achieved much the same result to which I have already alluded. A woman, in her fits, spoke incessantly of a sorcerer who had cast a spell on her, I made appear the soul of the sorcerer, who asked that ten beads of the rosary be prayed for her to lift her curse. After completing this formality, the patient was much better, or at least changed the nature of her illness, as hysterics usually do. We see, by all these examples, that there are great analogies between the subjects whose duplication we have studied and these mediums which serve to evoke spirits.

But, let us push our comparison further and we will be able to point out still more precise analogies between mediumship and sleepwalking proper. Spiritualists may say that it is impossible to find sleepwalkers as obedient and as discreet as their table or their sink [21]; this table does not work on its own, you need a medium to turn it and this one does not differ much from a simple sleepwalker.

[21] Journal du magnétisme, 1855, 143.

One could, to prove it, show that many characters of the spiritualist writing resemble those of somnambulism: thus the mediums are elective and do not operate in front of everyone. A young English girl, Miss S..., whose very interesting story was published in England [22], possesses, by a singular fortune, five or six familiar spirits: Johnson, Eudora, Moster, etc.

[22] Proceed. S. P. R, 1887, 216.

I was eager to witness their exploits, and Ms S..., who was then in Le Havre, was kind enough to give herself to some experiments.
Unfortunately the spirits were in a very bad mood that day and the famous board on which the medium rested his hand only wrote insignificant words: “Johnson must go... Eudora is writing”, and especially these words perpetually repeated: “Most of things, most of men...” Ms S... attributed this failure to the absence of her brother who usually questioned and directed the spirits. This explanation seems very probable to me, I could not make myself heard spirits, nor give them orders, just as a stranger could not make suggestions by distraction to Leonie or to Lucie. Isn’t it curious to notice this characteristic of somnambulic electivity, even in Spirits of a natural medium?
But there are more decisive facts which dispense us from insisting on these: “The people who are most successful in turning the tables are those who on the other hand have sleepwalking attacks [23].”

[23] Journal du magnétisme, 1855, 120.

“A good sleepwalker is, in general, an excellent medium [24].”

[24] Guldenstubbe. Réalité des esprits, 82.

Finally, just as mediums sometimes fall into crisis during their operations, they also very often fall into somnambulism. “Finding myself one day”, said a magnetizer, “in a spiritualist group where the young lady of the house, who was a medium, had fallen asleep at the table by the communicability of the magnetic fluids running through the chain, and the spirits having withdrawn without the clearing, as they used to, great was the embarrassment of society... when making myself known as a magnetizer, I offered to wake up the subject and freed him in the space of three minutes at the general satisfaction [25]”.

[25] Dr Peladan. Revue spirite, 1876, 191.

Here is an adventure in this connection which has been told to me by the witnesses themselves and in such a way that it seems to me to present a great chance of being true. An assembly of spiritualists was in great joy, for the spirit which deigned to answer them was nothing less than the soul of Napoleon. The hand of the medium which served as intermediary indeed wrote more or less interesting messages signed with the name of Bonaparte. Suddenly the medium, who was speaking freely while his hand was writing, suddenly stops; his face pale, his eyes fixed, he sits up, folds his hands on his chest, assumes a haughty and meditative expression and walks around the room in the traditional attitude which legend attributes to the emperor. No one could make himself heard, but the medium soon sagged of itself and fell into a deep sleep from which no one could wake him either. He did not wake up from that sleep until an hour later, complaining of a great headache and having completely forgotten everything that had happened. Spiritualists explain these facts in their own way. As for me, I can only see in this a natural development of hemi-somnambulism which becomes catalepsy or complete somnambulism.

These facts are so frequent that the magnetizers noticed them and tried to draw to themselves the phenomena studied by the spiritualists. “Mediums are incomplete sleepwalkers”, writes Perrier [26].

[26] Journal du magnétisme, 1854, 79.

Chevillard, the damned soul of spiritualists, hated all the more as it approaches the truth more than once, insists on this point several times: “It is the same phenomenon, he says, which produces sleepwalking and spiritualism [27]...”

[27] Chevillard. Études expérimentales sur certains phénomènes nerveux et solution rationnelle du problème spirite, 1875, 19.

“The medium produces the blows himself on the table, but does not have the muscular sensation of them and does not believe them from him” [28].

[28] Id., Ibid., 31, 93.

“The medium is a somnambulist or a partial hypnotized, the consultant becomes unconscious magnetizer and the medium is indeed a magnetized, but partial, since it retains a certain initiative.” [29]

[29] Id., Ibid., 31, 93.

And Lafontaine writes in the same way: “The medium is in a mixed state which is not somnambulism, but which is not either the waking state... Under its unconscious direction, the pencil traces sentences which it never had consciousness.” [30]

[30] Lafontaine. L’art de magnétiser, 1860, 31.

This is perfect, but these authors do not explain how all of this is possible, how the somnambulist existence can continue under waking in a second personality. Spiritualists do not understand what we mean: “But the medium is not a sleepwalker”, exclaims Allan Kardec, “since he is wide awake and talking about something else.” [31]

[31] Allan Kardec. Le livre des médiums, 46.

“Isn’t it madness”, Mirville will say, “that this second soul of magnetizers existing at the same time as the other” [32].

[32] Mirville. Op. cit., I, 64.

Without doubt, it is perhaps bizarre, but it is true, and one can show by examples borrowed from the spiritualists themselves that the somnambulic state, that is to say the second successive existence and alternating occurs in mediums and that it is identical to this second simultaneous existence manifested by subconscious writing during waking. “Miss O... spreads her hands on the table and falls asleep... soon a foreign voice announcing itself under the personality of a Portuguese woman, Luisa, long deceased and hardly speaking French, we greets through the mouth of the medium she has just borrowed...” [33].

[33] Journal du magnétisme, 1855, 565.

This is sleepwalking and the second successive existence. “At the end, Luisa says, “The little one is tired, I’m going to “go away...” and O... goes back to sleep peacefully and wakes up unexpectedly.” When awake, she still has subconscious scriptures signed with Luisa’s name. This is the disintegration and the second simultaneous existence.
It is absolutely necessary to expose, in this connection, with some details, a remarkable observation, published by the revue spirite. Ms. Hugo d’Alesy [34] is an excellent medium, she lends her hand with complacency to all the spirits who wish to enter into a relationship with us.

[34] Revue spirite, 1879. Plusieurs articles, passim. 148, 271 et sq.

Thanks to her, a large number of souls, Eliane, Philippe, Gustave, and many others, wrote messages about their occupations in the other world. But this lady also has a much more wonderful property: she can lend to the spirits not only her arm, but her mouth and her whole body, she can disappear herself to give way to them and let them be embodied in her brain. All that is needed is to put her to sleep a little, a magnetizer takes care of it: after a first period of ordinary sleepwalking where she still speaks in his name, she stiffens for a moment, then everything is changed. It is not Mrs Hugo d’Alesy who is speaking to us, it is a spirit which has taken possession of her body. It’s Eliane, a small young person with a slightly precious pronunciation, a touch of whim, a little character that must be handled delicately. New contracture and change of scene, it’s Philippe, or M. Tétard who chews and who drinks coarse wine, or Abbé Gérard who wants to give sermons, but who finds himself with a heavy head and a bitter mouth because of the previous incarnation, or Mr. Aster, a rude obscene character who is quickly dismissed, or a baby, a little girl of three: “What’s your name, my darling? – Zeanne. – And what do you want? – Go and circle mom... and my brother and dad.” She plays and doesn’t want to leave. New contracture and here is Gustave; ah, Gustave deserves to be listened to. He is asked to paint, because he was a “rapin” during his lifetime: “Listen carefully, he replies through the mouth of this poor medium who is still sleeping”, it takes time to brush something that has dog, it would be too long, we would make our hair during that time... I have already tried so many times to manifest myself, but for that you need fluids... to communicate on earth with the friends, it’s very difficult: up there we are like little birds, but on earth, it’s more like that. Ah! it’s annoying to be dead!” (The valiant Achilles has already said that when he came to drink the black blood of the victims, decidedly the spiritistic mediums do not have the inventive spirit.) Gustave continues: “Yet we no longer have a lot of things that are not fun, we don’t have to go to the office, we don’t have to get up in the morning, we don’t have boots with corns on our feet..., but I didn’t stay on the earth enough, I left when I was going to have fun.... if I come back to earth, I want to be a painter... I will go to art school to heckle with others and laugh with the small models.. On this I wish you good evening.” [35]

[35] Revue spirite, 1879, 157 et sq.

Who will come after Gustave? Parbleu, the poet Stop finally, “because Stop means stop ”. This one is melancholy and he says in a singing tone: “My soul needed love and I was looking without finding any... If I had had a little more time, I would have put it in verse for you.... I know very well that it is a waste to be in prose..., but, given the late hour, I took what was shortest.” After this session which must have been tiring, we wake up the medium who ends up being Mrs Hugo d’Alésy as before.

I would like to know what psychological difference the spiritualists can find between these incarnations which their Revue publishes and the changes of personality or objectification of the types that M. Ch. Richet described at about the same time in the Revue philosophique: profanes like me fail to find any. But here is where this observation becomes quite interesting, it is when the author of these articles, Mr. Camile Chaicneau, try to prove to us that it is indeed spirits which are thus embodied in the body of the somnambulist. During the eve of the medium, without the personality of Mrs Hugo d’Alésy disappearing, it is possible to obtain written communications from these same spirits; but they will then be subconscious, produced without the knowledge of the subject himself, who continues to speak of something else. In these messages, Eliane still plays the coquette, Father Gérard writes sermons, Gustave makes the same jokes and tries to draw the little picture he promised: they have kept the same character, the same expressions, the same memories, although the medium now ignores all this [36].

[36] Revue spirite, 1879, 159.

This is perfectly observed and which would prove, if necessary, that spiritualism should not be despised by psychologists. But I will now ask a second question – how then do these subconscious and post-somnambulist personalities differ from the characters of Adrienne, Leonore, etc., writing, during Lucie and Léonie’s vigil, without their knowledge, and showing the same memories of previous sleepwalking? At one point perhaps, these observations are more complicated than mine. While I observed, under the day before, the persistence of simple sleepwalking, the author brings to light, during the day before, the persistence of sleepwalking modified by hallucinations and changes of personality.
In short, it is a combination of Mr. Richet’s experiences and mine. Well, let’s try this ingenious combination. While Lucie is sleepwalking, I suggest to her that she is no longer herself, but that she is a little boy of seven named Joseph, a comedy scene which is known and which I pass on. Without undoing the hallucination, I suddenly wake her up, and here she does not remember anything and seems to be in her normal state; some time later, I put a pencil in her hand and distracted her by talking to her about something else. The hand writes slowly and painfully without Lucie noticing it, and when I take the paper from her, here is the letter that I read: “Dear Grandpa, on New Year’s Day, I wish you a perfect health and I promise to be very good. Your little child, Joseph.” It wasn’t New Year’s Day, and I don’t know why she wrote this, perhaps because in her mind a letter from a seven-year-old awakened the idea of happy new year; but is it not manifest that the hallucination is preserved in the second personality? Another day, I put her into sleepwalking again; to see changes of character and to profit from her literary erudition, I transform her into Agnès de Molière and make her play the role of naive candor; I ask him this time to write a letter on a subject that I indicate to him; but, before it has started, I wake it up. The letter was written unconsciously during the day before, manifested the same character and was signed with this name of Agnes. Another example: this time I change her to Napoleon before waking her; the hand automatically wrote an order to any general to rally the troops for a major battle and signed with a large initial “Napoleon”. I ask again: how does the story of Mrs Hugo d’Alésy differ from that of Lucie? Until proven otherwise, I am willing to believe that the two phenomena are absolutely the same, and that, therefore, they must be explained in the same way by the disaggregation of personal perception and by the formation of several personalities. which sometimes follow one another and sometimes develop simultaneously.

VI. Cerebral duality as an explanation of spiritualism

The difficulties do not really begin until one penetrates into the details, if one tries to realize the form and the particular laws of the disintegration in such or such determined case. It is in connection with these details that I would be disposed, though with hesitation, to oppose Mr. Myers, who has studied all these curious phenomena so well. I am not speaking of his disposition to regard the phenomena of disintegration as compatible with the most normal health, this is a general question which relates to sleepwalking as well as to spiritualism and which we will discuss a little further on. But he tries to explain the phenomena of spiritualism and in general the development of two parallel consciousnesses by a well-known anatomical characteristic of the nervous system, the division of the encephalon into two symmetrical parts and the existence in man of two brains.
This division of the brain into two parts has already given rise to many hypotheses. Since La Mettrie who says that Pascal had a mad brain and an intelligent brain, since Gaétan de Launay who considers dreams made on the right side as absurd and those made on the left side as logical [37], there have been many anatomists and physiologists who have related to this duality all the complicated and embarrassing phenomena of the human mind.

[37] Cf. Bérillon. La dualité cérébrale et l’indépendance fonctionnelle des deux hémisphères cérébraux, 1884, 115.

If I have avoided talking about these hypotheses, it is because, on the one hand, I have undertaken not to enter into studies of cerebral physiology, and, on the other, that this supposition does not appear to me explain a lot. In fact, we all have two brains, and we are neither fools, nor sleepwalkers, nor mediums. Diminished hypnotic states, one-sided hallucinations of a different characteristic for each side of the body, are interesting psychological facts which have in recent times been related to brain duality [38].

[38] Id. Ibid., 109. Cif Magnin. Etude clinique et expérimentale sur l’hypnotisme, 1884, 157.

They seem to me in general to depend on something else: they are hallucinations with a landmark [39], which natural disease or even suggestion have linked, some to the right, others to the left.

[39] See part 1, ch. III, p. 153.

These hallucinations and all the experiences of this kind hardly seem to me demonstrative. If I had to express an opinion on the theories of cerebral localization, I would readily follow that of Bastian [40] which he expresses in these terms: “We are perhaps dealing less with topographically separate areas of brain tissue than with distinct mechanisms of cells and fibers existing in a more or less diffuse and intermixed manner.”

[40] Bastian. Le cerveau, organe de la pensée, 149.

It was for these reasons that I had not submitted these assumptions about cerebral duality to a separate discussion.

But Mr. Myers, when he returns to this theory, in connection with spiritualism, sets it out with arguments which are more distinctly psychological and which, therefore, call for discussion here.
To sum up his theory in a few words, Mr. Myers thinks that there is a great analogy between the phenomena of the unconsciousness of mediums and automatic writing, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, disorders of the medium, blindness or deafness, agraphia or aphasia which occurs as a result of certain localized lesions of the left hemisphere. However, in these cases, the restoration of language and writing, when it takes place, takes place thanks to a replacement of the right hemisphere. So automatic writing must also be linked to the functioning of the right hemisphere. “Automatic writing seems, he says, an obscure action of the least used hemisphere; in the case of Louis V... it is the alternation of the right hemisphere and the left which produces the motor and sensory variations [41].

[41] Myers. Multiplex personality. Proceed. S. P. R., 1887, 499.

The automatic writing comes from the same cause as the writing of the agraphics, the employment in the writing of the unexercised centers of the right hemisphere of the brain [42].”

[42] Id. Automatic writing. Proceed, 1885, 39.

Without commenting on the substance of the physiological question, I do not find Mr. Myers’ arguments to be conclusive.
“The medium who writes in this way”, says this author, “does not feel his own hand writing, he looks like an individual suffering from verbal blindness [43] who cannot read writing.”

[43] Myers. Ibid., 47 et sq.

In no way does the patient in question feel the letters, but he does not understand them; the medium does not have the sensation of movements, he is simply anesthetic at this moment and, for this particular point; if he has the feeling, if he looks at his paper to see the letters, he will read them perfectly. But there are times when he hesitates and cannot read. It is because the message is poorly written: sometimes I cannot read my own handwriting, and I am not verbally blind. “In this case, we will reply, the medium calls on the movements of his hand to start the message again; he resembles the famous patient of M. Charcot who could read only by following the letters, he used muscular sensations to read and not visual sensations; the medium does not feel the muscular sensations any more when the message is written for the second time, he appeals to the visual sensations, this time to read a better written letter. There is nothing in all of this that looks like verbal blindness.
“But now consider the writing itself, it is sometimes awkward, embarrassed, reduced to an endlessly repeated letter or a simple scribble; therefore”, claims Mr. Myers, “it is the product of the right brain which is not sufficiently exercised.” Bold conclusion: one can write badly without using only the right brain. Writing is more inexperienced because it takes place under new conditions, without the subject seeing the paper, without using visual images, etc.; it depends on a new intelligence which has only muscular images which is often rudimentary and sometimes only knowing, like the cataleptics, to repeat the same letter [44].

[44] Myers. Automatic writing, 1885, 38.

“This automatic writing, we are still told, often shows a bad temper, conceited, lying, immoral, it abuses swear words and obscenities. This resembles the swear words which only the aphasic patient retains and, in either case, they must be blamed on the right hemisphere of the brain, which is uneducated and unethical.” How, swear words and obscenities and nonsense can only come from the right hemisphere? Should we therefore return to the theory of dreams of M. Gaétan de Launay? The explanation of these inconveniences of automatic writing seems to me much simpler: we find them, whatever one may have said about them, in sleepwalking, in hysteria, in childhood, wherever the personality is weak and unable to govern his words.
A more interesting argument is taken from a curious characteristic of automatic writing; it often affects, it seems, the inverted form, as it is necessary, to read the message, to look at the sheet upside down by transparency or to read it in a mirror. This form of writing is found in children who are left-handed and sometimes in aphasics. I will not discuss this question, for I have never had the opportunity to observe the fact; none of the people who introduced automatic writing wrote in front of me like this. The phenomenon would therefore be quite rare and could hardly be used to establish a general theory. On the other hand, we know that the group of subconscious phenomena which manifest themselves in the writing of mediums is the same which appear in somnambulism; if this writing is that of a left-handed person, why don’t the subjects all become left-handed while sleepwalking? Well, out of quite a number of subjects I have not seen a single one which exhibited this character, and Mr. Myers cites only one example which he himself is quite right to regard as doubtful. Finally, note that mirroring is not as difficult as it is generally believed. After two or three tries of a few moments, I got to write this way fairly quickly. This form of writing, which it would be interesting to study, seems to me to depend on certain very specific circumstances and not to be a general characteristic of automatic writing. M. Myers’ arguments therefore do not seem sufficient to us to be able to assimilate the automatic writing of mediums to agraphia disorders produced by a localized lesion of a hemisphere.

Consider the question from another point of view. Is it therefore quite certain that an individual who has lost articulated language by a lesion of the left hemisphere can only recover it thanks to the replacement of the right lobe. M. Charcot himself, by his theory of the different sensory types of language, has shown us another possible hypothesis. The patient can restore his language, the faculty of auditory representation for example, to make up for the erasure of visual images [45], and we will then witness a new education in language or writing that can present all the phases pointed out by Mr. Myers, without the right brain having to intervene more particularly than usual.

[45] Ballet. Langage intérieur, 115.

This remark shows us that, in the same individual, several kinds of languages can be produced which differ in the psychological images used much more than in the cerebral hemisphere which produces them.
It is a difference of this kind, psychological rather than anatomical, which seems to exist between the various simultaneous languages of the medium, as between the various actions of subjects in hemi-somnambulism. Each of these personalities, which develop at the same time, is constituted by a synthesis of images grouping themselves around different centers; but the images constituting the new personalities are not produced by new organs and added to those which formed the normal consciousness. No, the images always remain the same, produced by all or part of the brain, whatever, as they are in all men. It is their grouping and their distribution that are changed: they are aggregated into smaller groups than usual, which give rise to the formation of several incomplete personalities, instead of one more perfect. These separations and these new groupings of psychological phenomena are sometimes done in a very regular manner depending on the quality of the images coming from one or another direction: one of the groups will include, for example, tactile images, the other visual images. Things must be so with frankly hysterical mediums, for their disintegration, as we know, goes as far as complete anesthesia. But it may be that, in other persons, in mediums apparently in good health, the division and the grouping of the phenomena are much less simple, the images of the same direction being able to be distributed in different syntheses of after very complex association laws. In these people, in fact, the disaggregation does not go as far as anesthesia with fixed limits, but stops at this anesthesia with variable limits, which is the distraction. In either case, it is always only a matter of the grouping of images normally produced in the mind.
This interpretation allows us to understand certain facts which would be difficult to explain, we believe, in Mr. Myers’ theory. How could certain mediums, like Ms S.... have several spirits of different characters and independent of each other? Mr. Myers, as he did with the six existences of Louis V.... arranges all the abnormal existences into one, which he opposes to normal existence. But this is very artificial, the psychological existence which we call normal does not have such clear characteristics which oppose it to others. The different abnormal groups are not different forms obtained by hallucination of the same personality; they are quite distinct from each other, just as somnambulism is distinct from waking. Léonie and Lucie have three personalities and not two; Rose has at least four quite distinct; should we assume that they have three or four brains? This is hardly likely; I prefer to believe that it is a question of simple psychological groupings which can be numerous, because they do not correspond to the physical division of the nervous system. Undoubtedly, a certain physiological modification must accompany, I am convinced, this psychological disintegration; but it is absolutely unknown to us, and it must be abnormal and much more delicate than this regular division of the brain into two hemispheres.

Regardless of these hypotheses, spiritualism has shown us many examples, which were not without utility, of this mental disintegration that we had studied experimentally. Mediums, when perfect, are types of the fullest division in which the two personalities completely ignore each other and develop independently of each other.



[original in French]
Le point essentiel du spiritisme, c’est bien, croyons-nous, ainsi que le dit Gros Jean, la désagrégation des phénomènes psychologiques et la formation, en dehors de la perception personnelle, d’une seconde série de pensées non rattachée à la première. Quant aux moyens que la seconde personnalité emploie pour se manifester à l’insu de la première, mouvement des tables, écriture ou parole automatique, etc., c’est une question secondaire. D’où proviennent les bruits entendus dans les tables ou dans les murs et répondant à des questions? Est-ce d’un mouvement des orteils, de cette contraction du tendon péronier supposée par Jobert de Lamballe et qui a fait tant de bruit à l’Académie? Est-ce d’une contraction de l’estomac et d’une véritable ventriloquie, comme Gros Jean le suppose, ou bien d’une autre action physique particulière encore inconnue? Sont-ils produits par des mouvements automatiques du médium lui-même, ou bien, comme cela me paraît probable dans certains cas, au milieu de l’obscurité réclamée par les spirites, par des actions subconscientes de quelqu’un des assistants, qui trompe les autres et se trompe lui-même, et qui devient compère sans le savoir? Cela importe peu maintenant. Cette action, quelle qu’elle soit, est toujours une action involontaire et inconsciente de l’un ou de l’autre, et «la parole involontaire des intestins n’est pas plus miraculeuse que la parole involontaire de la bouche [1]».

[1] Lettre de Gros Jean à son évêque … 1855, 31.

C’est le côté psychologique du phénomène qui est le plus intéressant et qui doit être étudié davantage.

Quoique l’ouvrage que nous venons d’analyser ait été écrit en 1855, il ne fut pas compris et n’eut aucune influence, ni sur les spirites, ce qui est naturel, ni sur les psychologues, ce qui est plus étonnant; les uns continuèrent à admirer, les autres à railler les tables parlantes, sans que leur étude avançât autrement. Cependant on doit signaler quelques passages courts, mais assez nets, de M. Liébault, qui expriment une opinion analogue: «Ce dédoublement de l’action de l’attention dans les opérations intellectuelles a aussi lieu pendant la veille, et alors ces opérations sur deux plans opposés ne se présentent pas toujours à la fois toutes les deux à la conscience, il en est souvent une qui est inconsciente [2].»

[2] Liébault. Du sommeil, 1866, 249.

Littré, dans sa Philosophie positive, 1878, et Dagonet dans les Annales médico-psychologiques, 1881, font allusion à des théories du même genre pour expliquer les discours des convulsionnaires des Cévennes [3].

[3] Cf. Myers. Automatic writing. Proceed., 1885, 61.

M. Taine, comme nous l’avons déjà signalé, indique, dans sa préface, un cas assez ordinaire d’écriture automatique; il remarque que le fait est curieux, mais n’insiste pas autrement.
Il faut arriver jusqu’à ces dernières années pour trouver, dans un article de M. Ch. Richet, l’expression précise d’une théorie du spiritisme, comparable à celle que nous venons de lire: «Supposons, dit-il, qu’il y ait chez quelques individus un état d’hémisomnambulisme tel qu’une partie de l’encéphale produise des pensées, reçoive des perceptions, sans que le moi en soit averti. La conscience de cet individu persiste dans son intégrité apparente: toutefois des opérations très compliquées vont s’accomplir en dehors de la conscience, sans que le moi volontaire et conscient paraisse ressentir une modification quelconque. Une autre personne sera en lui qui agira, pensera, voudra, sans que la conscience, c’est-à-dire le moi réfléchi, conscient, en ait la moindre notion [4].»

[4] Ch. Richet. La suggestion mentale et le calcul des probabilités. Revue philosophique, 1884, II, 650.

Et ailleurs: «Ces mouvements inconscients, ne sont pas livrés au hasard; ils suivent, au moins lorsqu’on opère avec certains médiums, une vraie direction logique, qui permet de démontrer, à côté de la pensée consciente, normale, régulière du médium, l’existence simultanée d’une autre pensée collatérale qui suit ses périodes propres, et qui n’apparaîtrait pas à la conscience, si elle n’était pas révélée au dehors par ce bizarre appareil d’enregistrement [5].»

[5] Id. Les mouvements inconscients dans l’hommage à M. Chevreul, 1886.

On trouve, paraît-il, des idées semblables et une étude plus complète sur cette interprétation du spiritisme dans deux ouvrages allemands que je n’ai pas eu l’occasion de lire, la «Philosophie der mystick» du Baron du Prel [6] et le livre de M. Hellenbach, intitulé: «Geburt und Tod [7].»

[6] Leipzig, 1885.
[7] Vienne, 1885.

Mais l’auteur qui, à ma connaissance, a le plus contribué à développer l’étude scientifique des phénomènes spiritiques est certainement M. Fr. Myers. Cet auteur, en effet, dans plusieurs articles importants publiés par la «Society for psychical research [8]» a exposé une théorie très ingénieuse, à la fois psychologique et physiologique de la désagrégation mentale.

[8] On a telepathic explanation of some so-called spiritualistic phenomena. Proceed. S. P. R, II, 217. Automatic writing. Ibid., 1885.

Nous n’exposerons pas ici les théories de M. Myers sur le spiritisme, elles sont plus développées que les précédentes, et entrent davantage dans le détail des phénomènes. Nous préférons exposer d’abord, d’une manière générale, comment nous rattachons ces faits aux études que nous venons de faire dans cet ouvrage, pour revenir ensuite sur les points de détail qui séparent notre interprétation de celle de M. Myers.
A peu près à la même époque, en effet, sans connaître aucun des ouvrages dont nous venons de parler et sans songer à étudier le spiritisme, nous examinions, au point de vue psychologique, le somnambulisme des hystériques et les actes qu’elles accomplissent par suggestion. Cette étude nous a amené à constater des actes subconscients, des anesthésies partielles, des écritures automatiques, en un mot tous les caractères des phénomènes spiritiques. Tandis que ces auteurs partaient de l’étude du spiritisme pour arriver à la théorie des personnalités multiples et à l’étude de l’hypnotisme, nous nous trouvions les rejoindre quoique en étant parti d’un point de départ tout opposé. Cette rencontre nous porte à croire, ce qui nous paraît facile à démontrer, que les phénomènes observés par les spirites sont exactement identiques à ceux du somnambulisme naturel ou artificiel et que nous avons le droit d’appliquer littéralement à cette question nouvelle les théories et les conclusions auxquelles nous sommes parvenus dans le chapitre précédent.

V. Comparaison des médiums et des somnambules

La première remarque qui rapprochera le spiritisme de nos études précédentes, c’est que la plupart des médiums, dont nous lisons les descriptions, ont des allures et présentent des accidents maladifs qui ne nous sont pas inconnus; presque toujours (je ne dis pas toujours pour ne pas préjuger une question importante), ce sont des névropathes, quand ce ne sont pas franchement des hystériques. Le mouvement des tables ne commence que lorsque des femmes ou des enfants, c’est-à-dire des personnes prédisposées aux accidents nerveux viennent y mettre les mains [9]; pendant que l’on fait la chaîne autour d’une table qui opère d’ailleurs très bien, on est malheureusement obligé de s’interrompre, parce que deux dames tombent à la renverse en convulsions [10].

[9] Baragnon. Magnétisme animal, 375.
[10] Silas. Op. cit., 20.


Un homme qui avait beaucoup d’action sur la table parlante était malheureusement affecté d’un tremblement et d’une oscillation continuelle des bras qui le gênait même pour manger [11].

[11] Id, Ibid., 22.

Une jeune fille, excellent médium, entrait dans une violente crise de nerfs quand on lui montrait un chapelet béni pendant qu’elle se livrait à ces opérations spiritiques [12].

[12] Mirville. Op. cit., II, 97.

«C’est sans doute à cause de l’horreur que les démons ont pour le chapelet.» Oui, peut-être; mais il est permis aussi de supposer autre chose. «Quand les esprits se fâchent, les médiums sont plongés subitement dans un état de perturbation nerveuse ou de raideur tétanique... [13].»

[13] Id. Ibid., I, 405.

On lit souvent dans les relations américaines que les speaking médiums ont été «vigorously exercised [14]», violemment tourmentés par les esprits, ce qui veut dire en bon français qu’ils ont eu au milieu de leurs opérations une violente crise de nerfs.

[14] Mystères de la danse des tables, 15.

Dans les relations anglaises, on est, au contraire, très sobre de renseignements sur ce point, tout au plus remarque-t-on de temps en temps que le médium présente quelques mouvements choréiques [15], ou bien que les expériences d’écriture automatique le fatiguent énormément et qu’on est obligé de les interrompre à cause de sa santé délicate [16].

[15] Myers. Proceed., 1885, 32.
[16] Id, Ibid., 1885, 9.

J’avoue que j’aurais été curieux d’avoir quelques renseignements complémentaires sur cette santé délicate. Mais cette discrétion des auteurs anglais sur les accidents de leurs médiums se rattache à une opinion générale sur la désagrégation mentale que nous discuterons à part. Ne disons donc pas que tous les médiums ont des crises de nerfs, ce qui serait exagéré, mais qu’ils en ont très souvent et que leurs opérations prédisposent aux accidents nerveux.
Rien n’est plus décisif, à ce point de vue, qu’une observation de M. Charcot sur plusieurs jeunes gens d’une même famille qui deviennent tous hystériques à la suite des pratiques du spiritisme [17].

[17] Charcot. Maladies du système nerveux, III, 228.

Cette coïncidence entre la crise de nerfs et l’acte d’écrire inconsciemment se retrouve chez nos sujets. Tantôt une crise d’hystérie qui débute peut être transformée par suggestion en mouvements inconscients et en actes automatiques, tantôt les tentatives pour provoquer la catalepie partielle et l’écriture subconsciente amènent une crise d’hystérie. G... pouvait facilement et sans danger être mise en somnambulisme complet, mais elle ne tolérait pas l’hémi-somnambulisme. Je dus renoncer à étudier sur elles les suggestions par distraction à l’état de veille: elles amenaient fatalement une crise de nerfs, qu’il fallait arrêter alors par un somnambulisme complet.
Si les médiums ne présentent pas d’accidents nerveux au moment où ils évoquent les esprits, ils ne restent pas cependant toujours indemnes, et ils terminent souvent d’une manière fatale leur brillante carrière. Tôt ou tard beaucoup d’entre eux tombent dans «la subjugation», comme dit Allan Kardec avec un heureux euphémisme, c’est-à-dire qu’ils finissent tout simplement par la folie [18]: chacun en connaît malheureusement plusieurs exemples.

[18] Silas. Op. cit., 23. Revue spirite, 1877, 141. Cf. Maudsley. Pathologie de l’esprit, trad. 1883, 85.

Faut-il dire que c’est le spiritisme qui les a rendus fous; ce serait, je crois, exagérer, mais la faculté de médium "doit dépendre d’un état morbide particulier analogue à celui d’où peuvent sortir plus tard l’hystérie ou l’aliénation – la médiumnité est un symptôme et non pas une cause.
Jamais ces rapports entre la médiumnité et les accidents nerveux ne sont si visibles que lorsque les spirites s’avisent de soigner une véritable hystérique qui a des crises convulsives. Voici en abrégé deux observations qui sont bien instructives: Une jeune fille avait de violentes crises d’hystérie, les assistants lui mettent en tête qu’elle est possédée par un esprit méchant nommé Frédégonde, et la voici maintenant qui, dans ses crises, voit Frédégonde et en parle sans cesse. «Je vois, dit-elle, des esprits lumineux que Frédégonde n’ose pas regarder, etc.» On lui demande, pendant qu’elle est en crise, de prier pour son ennemie afin de l’apaiser. «Oh! je le ferai bien, dit-elle, je pardonne à Frédégonde,» et dès ce moment les crises se calment [19].

[19] Revue spirite, 1864, 14.

Une autre hystérique ayant des accidents convulsifs, les esprits, immédiatement consultés par l’intermédiaire d’un médium, déclarent qu’elle est sous une fatale influence, celle d’un mauvais esprit nommé Jules. Le susdit Jules est alors interpellé, avec précaution il est vrai, car son évocation fatigue le médium; on lui parle avec douceur et sur un ton plaisant pour ne pas trop le fâcher. Après maint pourparler et des aventures épiques, surtout grâce à l’intervention d’un bon petit esprit nommé Carita, on obtient de ce vilain Jules la promesse qu’il laissera sa victime tranquille. L’hystérique naturellement, dès la première nouvelle de ces négociations, avait changé la nature de ses crises et ne cessait de crier pendant ses accès: «Va-t’en, va-t’en.» Quand elle connut la conclusion du traité de paix, elle se calma et obtint une guérison relative [20].

[20] Revue spirite, 1864, 177.

Quoique je ne possède pas une pareille autorité sur les esprits du monde invisible, j’ai obtenu un résultat à peu près semblable auquel j’ai déjà fait allusion. Une femme, dans ses crises, parlait sans cesse d’un sorcier qui lui avait jeté un sort, j’ai fait apparaître l’âme du sorcier, qui a demandé qu’on priât pour elle dix grains de chapelet pour lever sa malédiction. Après avoir accompli cette formalité, la malade s’est portée beaucoup mieux, ou du moins elle a changé la nature de son mal, comme font d’ordinaire les hystériques. On voit, par tous ces exemples, qu’il y a de grandes analogies entre les sujets dont nous avons étudié le dédoublement et ces médiums qui servent à l’évocation des esprits.

Mais, poussons plus loin notre comparaison et nous pourrons signaler des analogies plus précises encore entre la médiumnité et le somnambulisme proprement dit. Les spirites ont beau dire qu’il est impossible de trouver des somnambules aussi obéissants et aussi discrets que leur table ou leur lavabo [21]; cette table ne marche pas toute seule, il faut un médium pour la faire tourner et celui-ci ne diffère pas beaucoup d’un simple somnambule.

[21] Journal du magnétisme, 1855, 143.

On pourrait, pour le prouver, montrer que bien des caractères de l’écriture spirite ressemblent à ceux du somnambulisme: ainsi les médiums sont électifs et n’opèrent pas devant tout le monde. Une jeune fille anglaise, Mlle S..., dont l’histoire très intéressante a été publiée en Angleterre [22], possède, par une fortune singulière, cinq ou six esprits familiers: Johnson, Eudora, Moster, etc.

[22] Proceed. S. P. R, 1887, 216.

Je désirais vivement assister à leurs exploits, et Mlle S..., qui était alors au Havre, eut la complaisance de se prêter à quelques expérimentations. Malheureusement les esprits furent ce jour-là de fort mauvaise humeur et la fameuse planchette sur laquelle le médium appuyait la main n’écrivit que des mots insignifiants: «Johnson must go... Eudora is writing», et surtout ces mots perpétuellement répétés: «Most of things, most of men...» Mlle S... attribua cet insuccès à l’absence de son frère qui d’ordinaire interrogeait et dirigeait les esprits. Cette explication me paraît fort vraisemblable, je ne pouvais me faire entendre des esprits, ni leur donner des ordres, de même qu’une personne étrangère ne pourrait faire de suggestions par distraction à Léonie ou à Lucie. N’est-il pas curieux de remarquer ce caractère de l’électivité somnambulique, même chez les Esprits d’un médium naturel?
Mais il y a des faits plus décisifs qui nous dispensent d’insister sur ceux-ci: «Les personnes qui réussissent le mieux à faire tourner les tables sont celles qui ont d’autre part des crises de somnambulisme [23].»

[23] Journal du magnétisme, 1855, 120.

«Un bon somnambule est, en général, un excellent médium [24].»

[24] Guldenstubbe. Réalité des esprits, 82.

Enfin, de même que les médiums tombent quelquefois en crise pendant leurs opérations, ils tombent aussi très souvent en somnambulisme. «Me trouvant un jour, dit un magnétiseur, dans un groupe spirite où la demoiselle de la maison, qui était médium, s’était endormie à table par la communicabilité des fluides magnétiques parcourant la chaîne, et les esprits s’étant retirés sans la dégager, comme ils en avaient l’habitude, grand fut alors l’embarras de la société... lorsque me faisant connaître comme un magnétiseur, je m’offris pour réveiller le sujet et le dégageai en l’espace de trois minutes à la satisfaction générale [25].»

[25] Dr Peladan. Revue spirite, 1876, 191.

Voici, à ce propos, une aventure qui m’a été racontée par les témoins eux-mêmes et de telle manière qu’elle me paraît présenter de grandes chances de vérité. Une assemblée de spirites était dans une grande joie, car l’esprit qui daignait leur répondre n’était rien moins que l’âme de Napoléon. La main du médium qui servait d’intermédiaire écrivait en effet des messages plus ou moins intéressants signés du nom de Bonaparte. Tout d’un coup, le médium, qui parlait librement pendant que sa main écrivait, s’arrête brusquement; la figure pâle, les yeux fixes, il se redresse, croise les mains sur sa poitrine, prend une expression hautaine et médiative et se promène autour de la salle dans l’attitude traditionnelle que la légende prête à l’empereur. Nul ne put se faire entendre, mais le médium s’affaissa bientôt de lui-même et tomba dans un sommeil profond dont on ne sût pas davantage le réveiller. Il ne sortit de ce sommeil qu’une heure après, se plaignant d’un grand mal de tête et ayant complètement oublié tout ce qui s’était passé. Les spirites expliquent ces faits à leur manière. Quant à moi, je ne puis y voir qu’un développement naturel de l’hémi-somnambulisme qui devient une catalepsie ou un somnambulisme complet.

Ces faits sont si fréquents que les magnétiseurs les ont remarqués et ont essayé de tirer à eux les phénomènes étudiés par les spirites. «Les médiums sont des somnambules incomplets, écrit Perrier [26].»

[26] Journal du magnétisme, 1854, 79.

Chevillard, l’âme damnée des spirites, d’autant plus détesté qu’il approche davantage de la vérité, insiste sur ce point à plusieurs reprises: «C’est le même phénomène, dit-il, qui produit le somnambulisme et le spiritisme [27]...»

[27] Chevillard. Études expérimentales sur certains phénomènes nerveux et solution rationnelle du problème spirite, 1875, 19.

«Le médium produit les coups lui-même dans la table, mais n’en a pas la sensation musculaire et ne les croit pas de lui» [28].

[28] Id., Ibid., 31, 93.

«Le médium est un somnambule ou un hypnotisé partiel, le consultant devient magnétiseur inconscient et le médium est bien un magnétisé, mais partiel, puisqu’il conserve une certaine initiative.» [29]

[29] Id., Ibid., 31, 93.

Et Lafontaine écrit de même: «Le médium est dans un état mixte qui n’est pas le somnambulisme, mais qui n’est pas non plus l’état de veille... Sous sa direction inconsciente, le crayon trace des phrases dont il n’a jamais eu conscience.» [30]

[30] Lafontaine. L’art de magnétiser, 1860, 31.

Voilà qui est parfait, mais ces auteurs n’expliquent pas comment tout cela est possible, comment l’existence somnambulique peut se continuer sous la veille en une seconde personnalité. Les spirites ne comprennent pas ce que l’on veut dire: «Mais le médium n’est pas somnambule, s’écrie Allan Kardec, puisqu’il est bien éveillé et qu’il cause d’autre chose.» [31]

[31] Allan Kardec. Le livre des médiums, 46.

«N’est-ce pas une folie, dira Mirville, que cette seconde âme des magnétiseurs existant en même temps que l’autre» [32].

[32] Mirville. Op. cit., I, 64.

Sans doute, c’est peut-être bizarre, mais c’est vrai, et l’on peut montrer par des exemples empruntés aux spirites eux-mêmes que l’état somnambulique, c’est-à-dire la seconde existence successive et alternante se présente chez les médiums et qu’elle est identique à cette seconde existence simultanée se manifestant par l’écriture subconsciente pendant la veille. «Mlle O... étend les mains sur la table et s’endort... bientôt une voix étrangère s’annonçant sous la personnalité d’une Portugaise, Luisa, décédée de longue date et s’exprimant à peine en français, nous salue par la bouche du médium qu’elle vient d’emprunter...» [33]

[33] Journal du magnétisme, 1855, 565.

Voilà le somnambulisme et la seconde existence successive. «À la fin, Luisa dit: «La petite est fatiguée, je vais «m’en aller...» et O... se rendort paisiblement et se réveille à l’improviste.» Une fois éveillée, elle a encore des écritures subconscientes signées du nom de Luisa. Voilà la désagrégation et le seconde existence simultanée.
Il faut absolument exposer, à ce propos, avec quelques détails, une observation remarquable, publiée par le revue spirite. Mme Hugo d’Alesy [34] est un excellent médium, elle prête sa main avec complaisance à tous les esprits qui désirent entrer en relation avec nous.

[34] Revue spirite, 1879. Plusieurs articles, passim. 148, 271 et sq.

Grâce à elle, un grand nombre d’âmes, Eliane, Philippe, Gustave, et bien d’autres, ont écrit des messages sur leurs occupations dans l’autre monde. Mais cette dame a en outre une propriété bien plus merveilleuse: elle peut prêter aux esprits non seulement son bras, mais sa bouche et tout son corps, elle peut disparaître elle-même pour leur céder la place et les laisser s’incarner dans son cerveau. Il suffit pour cela de l’endormir un peu, un magnétiseur s’en charge: après une première période de somnambulisme ordinaire où elle parle encore en son nom, elle se raidit un instant, puis tout est changé. Ce n’est pas Mme Hugo d’Alesy qui nous parle, c’est un esprit qui a pris possession de son corps. C’est Eliane, une petite jeune personne avec une prononciation légèrement précieuse, un brin de caprice, un petit caractère qu’il faut manier délicatement. Nouvelle contracture et changement de tableau, c’est Philippe, ou M. Tétard qui chique et qui boit du gros vin, ou l’abbé Gérard qui veut faire des sermons, mais qui se trouve la tête lourde et la bouche amère à cause de l’incarnation précédente, ou M. Aster un grossier personnage obscène qu’on renvoie bien vite, ou bien un bébé, une petite fille de trois ans: «Comment t’appelles-tu, ma mignonne? – Zeanne. – Et que veux-tu? – Va cerçer maman... et mon ti frère et papa.» Elle joue et ne veut plus partir. Nouvelle contracture et voici Gustave; ah, Gustave mérite qu’on l’écoute. On lui demande de faire de la peinture, parce qu’il était «rapin» de son vivant: «Écoute bien, répond-il par la bouche de ce pauvre médium qui dort toujours», il faut du temps pour brosser quelque chose qui ait du chien, ce serait trop long, on se ferait des cheveux pendant ce temps-là... J’ai déjà essayé tant de fois de me manifester, mais pour cela il faut des fluides... pour communiquer sur la terre avec les copains, c’est très difficile: là-haut on est comme les petits oiseaux, mais sur la terre, c’est plus ça. Ah! c’est embêtant d’être mort!» (Le vaillant Achille a déjà dit cela quand il venait boire le sang noir des victimes, décidément les médiums spirites n’ont pas l’esprit inventif.) Gustave continue: «Pourtant on n’a plus un tas de choses qui ne sont pas amusantes, on n’a pas à aller au bureau, on n’a pas à se lever le matin, on n’a pas de bottes avec des cors aux pieds..., mais je ne suis pas resté assez sur la terre, je suis parti au moment où j’allais m’amuser.... si je reviens sur la terre, je veux être peintre.... j’irai à l’école des beaux-arts pour chahuter avec les autres et rigoler avec les petits modèles.. Sur ce je vous souhaite le bonsoir.»[35]

[35] Revue spirite, 1879, 157 et sq.

Qui va venir après Gustave? Parbleu, le poète Stop pour finir, «parce que Stop veut dire arrête». Celui-là est mélancolique et il dit d’un ton chantant: «Mon âme avait besoin d’amour et je cherchais sans en trouver... Si j’avais eu un peu plus de temps, je vous aurais mis cela en vers.... je sais bien que ça perd à être en prose..., mais, vu l’heure avancée, j’ai pris ce que j’avais de plus court.» Après cette séance qui a dû être fatigante, on réveille le médium qui se retrouve être Mme Hugo d’Alésy comme devant.

Je voudrais bien savoir quelle différence psychologique les spirites peuvent trouver entre ces incarnations que publie leur Revue et les changements de personnalité ou objectivation des types que M. Ch. Richet décrivait à peu près à la même époque dans la Revue philosophique: des profanes comme moi ne réussissent pas à en trouver. Mais voici où cette observation devient tout à fait intéressante, c’est lorsque l’auteur de ces articles, M. Camile Chaicneau, essayer de nous prouver que ce sont bien des esprits qui s’incarnent ainsi dans le corps de la somnambule. Pendant la veille du médium, sans que la personnalité de Mme Hugo d’Alésy disparaisse, il est possible d’obtenir des communications écrites de ces mêmes esprits; mais elles seront alors subconscientes, produites à l’insu du sujet lui-même, qui continue à parler d’autre chose. Dans ces messages, Eliane fait encore la coquette, l’abbé Gérard écrit des sermons, Gustave fait les mêmes plaisanteries et essaye de dessiner le petit tableau qu’il a promis: ils ont conservé le même caractère, les mêmes expressions, les mêmes souvenirs, quoique le médium ignore maintenant tout cela [36].

[36] Revue spirite, 1879, 159.

Voilà qui est parfaitement observé et qui prouverait, s’il le fallait, que le spiritisme ne doit pas être dédaigné par les psychologues. Mais je poserai maintenant une seconde question – en quoi donc ces personnalités subconscientes et post-somnambuliques diffèrent-elles des personnages d’Adrienne, de Léonore, etc., écrivant, pendant la veille de Lucie et de Léonie, à leur insu, et montrant les mêmes souvenirs des somnambulismes précédents? En un point peut-être, ces observations sont plus compliquées que les miennes. Tandis que je constatais, sous la veille, la persistance du simple somnambulisme, l’auteur met au jour, sous la veille, la persistance du somnambulisme modifié par des hallucinations et des changements de personnalité.
En un mot, c’est une combinaison des expériences de M. Richet et des miennes. Eh bien, essayons cette combinaison ingénieuse. Pendant que Lucie est en somnambulisme, je lui suggère qu’elle n’est plus elle-même, mais qu’elle est un petit garçon de sept ans nommé Joseph, scène de comédie qui est connue et sur laquelle je passe. Sans défaire l’hallucination, je la réveille brusquement, et la voici qui ne se souvient de rien et qui semble dans son état normal; quelque temps après, je lui mets un crayon dans la main et je la distrais en lui parlant d’autre chose. La main écrit lentement et péniblement sans que Lucie s’en aperçoive, et quand je lui prends le papier, voici la lettre que je lis: «Cher grand-papa, à l’occasion du jour de l’an, je te souhaite une santé parfaite et je te promets d’être bien sage. Ton petit enfant, Joseph.» Nous n’étions pas au jour de l’an, et je ne sais pas pourquoi elle a écrit cela, peut-être parce que, dans sa pensée, une lettre d’un enfant de sept ans éveillait l’idée des souhaits de bonne année; mais n’est-il pas manifeste que l’hallucination s’est conservée dans la seconde personnalité. Un autre jour, je la mets encore en somnambulisme; pour voir des transformations de caractère et pour profiter de son érudition littéraire, je la transforme en Agnès de Molière et lui fais jouer le rôle de la candeur naïve; je lui demande cette fois d’écrire une lettre sur un sujet que je lui indique; mais, avant qu’elle ait commencé, je la réveille. La lettre fut écrite inconsciemment pendant la veille, manifesta le même caractère et fut signée de ce nom d’Agnès. Encore un exemple: je la change cette fois en Napoléon avant de la réveiller; la main écrivit automatiquement un ordre à un général quelconque de rallier les troupes pour une grande bataille et signa avec un grand paraphe «Napoléon». Je demande encore: en quoi l’histoire de Mme Hugo d’Alésy diffère-t-elle de celle de Lucie? Jusqu’à preuve du contraire, je suis disposé à croire que les deux phénomènes sont absolument les mêmes, et que, par conséquent, ils doivent s’expliquer de la même manière par la désagrégation de la perception personnelle et par la formation de plusieurs personnalités qui tantôt se succèdent et tantôt se développent simultanément.

VI. La dualité cérébrale comme explication du spiritisme

Les difficultés ne commencent véritablement que si l’on pénètre dans les détails, si on essaye de se rendre compte de la forme et des lois particulières de la désagrégation dans tel ou tel cas déterminé. C’est à propos de ces détails que je serais disposé, quoique avec hésitation, à me mettre en opposition avec M. Myers, qui a si bien étudié tous ces phénomènes curieux. Je ne parle pas de sa disposition à considérer les phénomènes de désagrégation comme compatibles avec la santé la plus normale, c’est là une question générale qui porte sur le somnambulisme comme sur le spiritisme et dont nous parlerons un peu plus loin. Mais il essaye d’expliquer les phénomènes du spiritisme et en général le développement de deux consciences parallèles par un caractère anatomique bien connu du système nerveux, la division de l’encéphale en deux parties symétriques et l’existence chez l’homme de deux cerveaux.
Cette division du cerveau en deux parties a déjà donné lieu à bien des hypothèses. Depuis La Mettrie qui dit que Pascal avait un cerveau fou et un cerveau intelligent, depuis Gaétan de Launay qui considère les rêves faits sur le côté droit comme absurdes et ceux faits sur le côté gauche comme logiques [37], il y a eu bien des anatomistes et des physiologistes qui ont rapporté à cette dualité tous les phénomènes compliqués et embarrassants de l’esprit humain.

[37] Cf. Bérillon. La dualité cérébrale et l’indépendance fonctionnelle des deux hémisphères cérébraux, 1884, 115.

Si j’ai évité de parler de ces hypothèses, c’est que, d’un côté, je me suis engagé à ne pas entrer dans des études de physiologie cérébrale, et, de l’autre, que cette supposition ne me paraît pas expliquer grand-chose. En fait, nous avons, tous, deux cerveaux, et nous ne sommes ni fous, ni somnambules, ni médiums. Les états hypnotiques diminués, les hallucinations unilatérales de caractère différent pour chaque côté du corps, sont des faits psychologiques intéressants qui ont été, dans ces derniers temps, rattachés à la dualité cérébrale [38].

[38] Id. Ibid., 109. Cif Magnin. Etude clinique et expérimentale sur l’hypnotisme, 1884, 157.

Ils me paraissent en général dépendre d’autre chose: ce sont des hallucinations à point de repère [39], que la maladie naturelle ou bien la suggestion ont rattachées les unes à droite, les autres à gauche.

[39] Cf. 1re partie, ch. III, p. 153.

Ces hallucinations et toutes les expériences de ce genre ne me semblent guère démonstratives. Si j’avais à exprimer une opinion sur les théories de localisation cérébrale, je me rattacherais volontiers à celle de Bastian [40] qu’il exprime en ces termes: «Nous avons peut-être affaire moins à des aires topographiquement séparées du tissu cérébral qu’à des mécanismes distincts de cellules et de fibres existant d’une manière plus ou moins diffuse et entremêlée.»

[40] Bastian. Le cerveau, organe de la pensée, 149.

C’est pour ces raisons que je n’avais pas soumis ces hypothèses sur la dualité cérébrale à une discussion distincte.

Mais M. Myers, quand il revient à cette théorie, à propos du spiritisme, l’expose avec des arguments qui sont plus nettement psychologiques et qui, par conséquent, demandent ici une discussion.
Pour résumer sa théorie en quelques mots, M. Myers pense qu’il y a une grande analogie entre les phénomènes d’inconscience des médiums et l’écriture automatique, d’une part, et, d’autre part, les troubles de la cécité ou de la surdité verbale, de l’agraphie ou de l’aphasie qui se produisent à la suite de certaines lésions localisées de l’hémisphère gauche. Or, dans ces cas, la restauration du langage et de l’écriture, quand elle a lieu, s’opère grâce à une suppléance de l’hémisphère droit. Donc l’écriture automatique doit se rattacher de même au fonctionnement de l’hémisphère droit. «L’écriture automatique semble, dit-il, une action obscure de l’hémisphère le moins utilisé; dans le cas de Louis V.... c’est l’alternance de l’hémisphère droit et du gauche qui produit les variations motrices et sensorielles [41].

[41] Myers. Multiplex personality. Proceed. S. P. R., 1887, 499.

L’écriture automatique vient de la même cause que l’écriture des agraphiques, l’emploi dans l’écriture des centres non exercés de l’hémisphère droit du cerveau [42].»

[42] Id. Automatic writing. Proceed, 1885, 39.

Sans me prononcer sur le fond de la question qui est physiologique, je ne trouve pas que les arguments de M. Myers soient concluants.
«Le médium qui écrit de cette manière, dit cet auteur, ne sent pas sa propre main qui écrit, il ressemble à un individu atteint de cécité verbale [43] qui ne peut lire l’écriture.»

[43] Myers. Ibid., 47 et sq.

En aucune façon, le malade en question a la sensation des lettres, mais il ne les comprend pas; le médium n’a pas la sensation des mouvements, il est simplement anesthésique à ce moment et, pour ce point particulier; s’il a la sensation, s’il regarde son papier pour voir les lettres, il les lira parfaitement. Mais il y a des cas où il hésite et ne peut pas arriver à lire. C’est que le message est mal écrit: il arrive à moi aussi de ne pas pouvoir lire ma propre écriture, et je ne suis pas atteint de cécité verbale. «Dans ce cas, répondra-t-on, le médium fait appel aux mouvements de sa main pour recommencer le message; il ressemble au célèbre malade de M. Charcot qui ne pouvait lire qu’en suivant les lettres, il se servait des sensations musculaires pour lire et non des sensations visuelles; le médium ne sent pas davantage les sensations musculaires quand le message est écrit pour la seconde fois, il fait appel aux sensations visuelles, pour lire cette fois une lettre mieux écrite. Il n’y a rien dans tout cela qui ressemble à de la cécité verbale.
«Mais considérons maintenant l’écriture elle-même, elle est quelquefois gauche, embarrassée, réduite à une lettre indéfiniment répétée ou à un simple gribouillage; donc, prétend M. Myers, elle est le produit du cerveau droit qui n’est pas assez exercé.» Conclusion hardie: on peut écrire mal sans se servir uniquement du cerveau droit. L’écriture est plus inexpérimentée parce qu’elle a lieu dans des conditions nouvelles, sans que le sujet voie le papier, sans qu’il use des images visuelles, etc.; elle dépend d’une intelligence nouvelle qui dispose uniquement des images musculaires qui est souvent rudimentaire et ne sachant quelquefois, comme les cataleptiques, que répéter la même lettre [44].

[44] Myers. Automatic writing, 1885, 38.

«Cette écriture automatique, nous dit-on encore, montre souvent un mauvais caractère, vaniteux, menteur, immoral, elle abuse des jurons et des obscénités. Cela ressemble aux jurons que conserve seuls le malade aphasique et, dans un cas comme dans l’autre, il faut les reprocher à l’hémisphère droit du cerveau qui est sans éducation et sans morale.» Comment, les jurons, les obscénités et les sottises ne peuvent provenir que de l’hémisphère droit? Faut-il donc retourner à la théorie des rêves de M. Gaétan de Launay? L’explication de ces inconvenances de l’écriture automatique me paraît beaucoup plus simple: nous les retrouvons, quoi qu’on en ait dit, dans le somnambulisme, dans l’hystérie, dans l’enfance, partout où la personnalité est faible et incapable de gouverner ses paroles.
Un argument plus intéressant est tiré d’un caractère curieux de l’écriture automatique; elle affecte souvent, paraît-il, la forme renversée, telle qu’il faut, pour lire le message, regarder la feuille à l’envers par transparence ou la lire dans un miroir. Cette forme d’écriture se rencontre chez les enfants qui sont gauchers et quelquefois chez les aphasiques. Je ne discuterai point cette question, car je n’ai jamais eu l’occasion d’observer le fait; aucune des personnes qui présentaient l’écriture automatique n’a écrit devant moi de cette manière. Le phénomène serait donc assez rare et ne pourrait guère servir à établir une théorie générale. D’autre part, nous savons que le groupe des phénomènes subconscients qui se manifestent par l’écriture des médiums est le même qui apparaît dans le somnambulisme; si cette écriture est celle d’un gaucher, pourquoi les sujets ne deviennent-ils pas tous gauchers en somnambulisme? Eh bien, sur un assez grand nombre de sujets, je n’en ai pas vu un seul qui présentât ce caractère, et M. Myers n’en cite qu’un exemple qu’il a bien raison de considérer lui-même comme douteux. Enfin remarquons que l’écriture en miroir n’est pas si difficile qu’on le croit généralement. Après deux ou trois essais de quelques instants, je suis arrivé à écrire de cette façon assez rapidement. Cette forme d’écriture, qu’il serait intéressant d’étudier, me paraît dépendre de certaines circonstances toutes particulières et ne pas être un caractère général de l’écriture automatique. Les arguments de M. Myers ne nous semblent donc pas suffisants pour que l’on puisse assimiler l’écriture automatique des médiums aux troubles de l’agraphie produits par une lésion localisée d’un hémisphère.

Considérons la question à un autre point de vue. Est-il donc bien certain qu’un individu qui a perdu le langage articulé par une lésion de l’hémisphère gauche ne puisse le retrouver que grâce à la suppléance du lobe droit. M. Charcot lui-même, par sa théorie des différents types sensoriels du langage, nous a indiqué une autre hypothèse possible. Le malade peut restaurer son langage, la faculté de représentation auditive par exemple, pour suppléer à l’effacement des images visuelles [45], et on assistera alors à une nouvelle éducation du langage ou de l’écriture pouvant présenter toutes les phases qu’a signalées M. Myers, sans que le cerveau droit ait à intervenir plus particulièrement qu’à l’ordinaire.

[45] Ballet. Langage intérieur, 115.

Cette remarque nous montre qu’il peut se produire, chez un même individu, plusieurs espèces de langages différant par les images psychologiques employées bien plus que par l’hémisphère cérébral qui les produit.
C’est une différence de ce genre, psychologique bien plutôt qu’anatomique, qui semble exister entre les divers langages simultanés du médium, comme entre les diverses actions des sujets en hémi-somnambulisme. Chacune de ces personnalités qui se développent en même temps, est constituée par une synthèse d’images se groupant autour de centres différents; mais les images constituant les personnalités nouvelles ne sont pas produites par des organes nouveaux et surajoutées à celles qui formaient la conscience normale. Non, les images restent toujours les mêmes, produites par la totalité ou par une partie du cerveau, peu importe, comme elles le sont chez tous les hommes. C’est leur groupement et leur répartition qui sont changés: elles sont agrégées en groupes plus petits qu’à l’ordinaire, qui donnent lieu à la formation de plusieurs personnalités incomplètes, au lieu d’une seule plus parfaite. Ces séparations et ces nouveaux groupements des phénomènes psychologiques se font quelquefois d’une manière très régulière suivant la qualité des images provenant de tel ou tel sens: l’un des groupes comprendra par exemple les images tactiles, l’autre les images visuelles. Les choses doivent se passer ainsi chez les médiums franchement hystériques, car leur désagrégation, comme nous le savons, va jusqu’à l’anesthésie complète. Mais il se peut que, chez d’autres personnes, chez les médiums en apparence à peu près bien portants, la division et le groupement des phénomènes soient beaucoup moins simples, les images d’un même sens pouvant être réparties dans des synthèses différentes d’après des lois d’association très complexes. Chez ces personnes, en effet, la désagrégation ne va pas jusqu’à l’anesthésie à limites fixes, mais s’arrête à cette anesthésie à limites variables, qui est la distraction. Dans l’un et dans l’autre cas, il ne s’agit toujours que du groupement des images produites normalement dans l’esprit.
Cette interprétation nous permet de comprendre certains faits qui seraient peu explicables, croyons-nous, dans la théorie de M. Myers. Comment certains médiums, comme Mlle S.... pourraient-ils avoir plusieurs esprits de caractères différents et indépendants les uns des autres? M. Myers, comme il l’a fait à propos des six existences de Louis V.... range toutes les existences anormales en une seule, qu’il oppose à l’existence normale. Mais cela est fort artificiel, l’existence psychologique qu’on appelle normale n’a pas de caractères si nets qui l’opposent aux autres. Les différents groupes anormaux ne sont pas non plus des formes différentes obtenues par hallucination d’une même personnalité; ils sont bien distincts les uns des autres, comme le somnambulisme est distinct de la veille. Léonie et Lucie ont trois personnalités et non deux; Rose en a quatre au moins bien distinctes; faut-il supposer qu’elles ont trois ou quatre cerveaux? Ce n’est guère vraisemblable; j’aime mieux croire qu’il s’agit de simples groupements psychologiques qui peuvent être nombreux, car ils ne correspondent pas à la division physique du système nerveux. Sans doute, une certaine modification physiologique doit accompagner, j’en suis convaincu, cette désagrégation psychologique; mais elle nous est absolument inconnue, et elle doit être anormale et bien plus délicate que cette division régulière du cerveau en deux hémisphères.

Quoi qu’il en soit de ces hypothèses, le spiritisme nous a montré de nombreux exemples, qui n’étaient pas sans utilité, de cette désagrégation mentale que nous avions étudiée expérimentalement. Les médiums, quand ils sont parfaits, sont des types de la division la plus complète dans laquelle les deux personnalités s’ignorent complètement et se développent indépendamment l’une de l’autre.

Ecerpt from pages 426-428:
[translation by Google Translate]
It is the same for automatic writing: usually we take precautions to prevent the subject from noticing it, we choose people whose arm is anesthetic, we hide it by a screen, we distract the subject by talking to him something else; but when these precautions are not taken, or simply when the subject has partly retained the muscular sense of the arm, he notices his writing and reads it as it is written, or he feels it according to the movements of his arm. Ms S.... of whom I have spoken, felt the movements of the board under her fingers and, by a rather long exercise, had come to guess her automatic handwriting before reading it. She said to me, without looking at the clipboard: “Ah it is Johnson who wrote that”, and indeed the Spirit had signed “Johnson.” Many spiritualists have noticed this fact, but they have sometimes indicated a more curious thing, which is that the medium, thus guessing the writing of his mind, sometimes completes it consciously and collaborates with him in these singular editions. “If there is, at the beginning, absolute division, so that the ideas are only known as the words appear, the word already drawn often making one guess which one is to follow, the young girl becomes, unwittingly, at least the collaborator of the second person who was formed in her”... “It is the countess who writes”, said Ms N... speaking of her mind, “but we think together [1].”

[1] Lettres de Gros Jean, 17.

The muscular sense thus becomes, as M. Richet said [2], the route by which a large number of subconscious phenomena enter consciousness after commencement of execution.

[2] Ch. Richet. Homme et intelligence, 517.

Besides, many facts of ordinary life are of the same kind; “When you read a book or hear an unpleasant speech, you may remain in a state of indifference for some time, but, if you feel some involuntary yawn, then you no longer doubt, you are authentically warned of your boredom and the awareness that you have it increases it [3].”

[3] Joly, Sensibilité et mouvement. Revue philosophique, 1886, II, 250.

These remarks show us that there can be a kind of knowledge and awareness of the act which is nonetheless unconscious, that is, which has its point of departure outside the personality of the subject.
How do subjects understand and express the psychological state we have just described? What do they think of themselves when they see themselves behaving in a weird way? They always use the same word to designate their condition. “But what’s the matter with you?” I say to Lucie in a circumstance analogous to the one I have described. – “It’s funny how I want to do that, and yet it’s so stupid.” I had suggested to Leonie to come to my place! as she does not arrive, I go to meet her and find her in the street. “I’ve been to your door”, she said, “and I’m coming back: I don’t know why I wanted to go to your place.” “What do I want to do with your hat?” said the young man whose suggestion I have described. In a word, they all interpret their state by saying that they want to do something, and then they give in to this urge, or they resist it as the case may be. This expression should not surprise us, because the consciousness of a desire is hardly anything else, if we want to analyze it, “than the sensation of emerging movements sketching out a function or an act [4].”

[4] Id, Ibid., 230.

Now our subjects feel precisely an act which is taking shape, and since they ignore the true origin, they make it a desire or a desire.
We can now come back to our impulsive patients whose psychological character becomes more intelligible. On the one hand, they are indeed disaggregated individuals, although they are aware of their impulses. “Man has lost his unity”, said Leuret in this regard; “he still knows; but, in himself, something different from his ego also knows; he still wants, but the something that is in him also has its will: he is dominated, he is a slave, his body is a machine obeying a will that is not his.” [5]

[5] Leuret. Frag. psychol. sur la folie, 1834, 259.

On the other hand, they know the movements they are making, they feel the impulse, interpret it as personal envy, accept it or resist it, all of which disaggregated individuals usually do not do. “It’s something that pushes me behind my shoulders,” said a patient observed by Georget. “I was terribly afraid of cutting the throat of the man I was shaving”, this unfortunate D told me ... –“Why were you afraid to do that?” I asked him. – “I could see my hand rising to strike, I only had time to save myself.” The patient does not understand that the idea and, consequently, the act of cutting the throat has been suggested, by the touch of the razor, a group of phenomena which he does not suspect the existence in him. He only saw the result of the suggestion, the movement of the arm, and that’s why he interprets it by saying: “I had a terrible urge to cut his throat.” These impulses have therefore shown us an interesting form of an incomplete disaggregated act, that is to say half known by the subject, but whose starting point, instead of being in the first consciousness, as we know it, seen in our studies on the recorder pendulum, is actually in the second.


[original in French]
Il en est de même pour l’écriture automatique: ordinairement on prend des précautions pour empêcher le sujet de s’en apercevoir, on choisit des personnes dont le bras est anesthésique, on le cache par un écran, on distrait le sujet en lui parlant d’autre chose; mais quand ces précautions ne sont pas prises, ou simplement quand le sujet a conservé en partie le sens musculaire du bras, il s’aperçoit de son écriture et la lit à mesure qu’elle s’écrit, ou il la sent d’après les mouvements de son bras. Mlle S.... dont j’ai parlé, sentait les mouvements de la planchette sous ses doigts et, par un assez long exercice, était arrivée à deviner son écriture automatique avant de la lire. Elle me disait, sans regarder la planchette: «Ah c’est Johnson qui a écrit cela», et en effet l’Esprit avait signé «Johnson.» Beaucoup de spirites ont remarqué ce fait, mais ils ont indiqué quelquefois une chose plus curieuse, c’est que le médium, devinant ainsi l’écriture de son esprit, la complète quelquefois consciemment et collabore avec lui dans ces singulières rédactions. «S’il y a, au début, division absolue, de telle sorte que les idées ne soient connues qu’au fur et à mesure que les mots apparaissent, le mot déjà tracé faisant souvent deviner celui qui va suivre, la jeune fille devient, sans le vouloir, au moins la collaboratrice de la seconde personne qui s’est formée en elle»… «C’est la comtesse qui écrit, dit Mlle N... en parlant de son esprit, mais nous pensons ensemble [1].»

[1] Lettres de Gros Jean, 17.

Le sens musculaire devient ainsi, comme le disait M. Richet [2], la voie par laquelle un grand nombre de phénomènes subconscients rentrent dans la conscience après un commencement d’exécution.

[2] Ch. Richet. Homme et intelligence, 517.

D’ailleurs, bien des faits de la vie ordinaire sont du même genre; «Quand vous lisez un livre ou que vous entendez un discours peu récréatif, vous pouvez rester quelque temps dans un état d’indifférence, mais, si vous sentez quelque bâillement involontaire, alors vous ne doutez plus, vous êtes avertis authentiquement de votre ennui et la conscience que vous en avez l’augmente [3].»

[3] Joly, Sensibilité et mouvement. Revue philosophique, 1886, II, 250.

Ces remarques nous montrent qu’il peut y avoir une sorte de connaissance et de conscience de l’acte qui est cependant inconscient, c’est-à-dire qui a son point de départ en dehors de la personnalité du sujet.
Comment les sujets comprennent-ils et expriment-ils l’état psychologique que nous venons de décrire? Qu’est-ce qu’ils pensent d’eux-mêmes en se voyant ainsi agir d’une façon bizarre? Ils emploient toujours le même mot pour désigner leur état. «Mais qu’est-ce que tu as donc?» dis-je à Lucie dans une circonstance analogue à celle que j’ai décrite. – «C’est drôle comme j’ai envie de faire cela, et c’est pourtant si bête.» J’avais suggéré à Léonie de venir chez moi! comme elle n’arrive pas, je vais à sa rencontre et je la trouve dans la rue. «J’ai été jusqu’à votre porte, dit-elle, et je reviens: je ne sais pas pourquoi j’avais envie d’aller chez vous.» «Qu’est-ce que j’ai envie de faire avec votre chapeau?» disait le jeune homme dont j’ai décrit la suggestion. En un mot ils interprètent tous leur état en disant qu’ils ont envie de faire quelque chose, et ils cèdent ensuite à cette envie, ou bien ils y résistent suivant le cas. Cette expression ne doit pas nous surprendre, car la conscience d’un désir n’est guère autre chose, si on veut l’analyser, «que la sensation des mouvements naissants ébauchant une fonction ou un acte [4].»

[4] Id, Ibid., 230.

Or nos sujets sentent précisément un acte qui s’ébauche, et comme ils ignorent la véritable origine, ils en font une envie ou un désir.
Nous pouvons maintenant revenir à nos malades impulsifs dont le caractère psychologique devient plus intelligible. D’un côté, ce sont bien des individus désagrégés, quoiqu’ils aient conscience de leurs impulsions. «L’homme a perdu son unité, dit à ce propos Leuret; il connaît encore; mais, en lui-même, quelque chose différent de son moi connaît aussi; il veut encore, mais le quelque chose qui est en lui a aussi sa volonté: il est dominé, il est esclave, son corps est une machine obéissant à une volonté qui n’est pas la sienne.» [5]

[5] Leuret. Frag. psychol. sur la folie, 1834, 259.

De l’autre côté, ils connaissent les mouvements qu’ils accomplissent, ils sentent l’impulsion, l’interprètent comme une envie personnelle, l’acceptent ou lui résistent, tout ce que les individus désagrégés ne faisaient pas d’ordinaire. «C’est quelque chose qui me pousse derrière les épaules,» disait un malade observé par Georget. «J’avais une peur affreuse de couper la gorge à l’homme que je rasais, me disait ce malheureux D... – Pourquoi aviez-vous peur de faire cela? lui demandai-je. – Je voyais bien ma main qui se levait pour frapper, je n’ai eu que le temps de me sauver.» Le malade ne comprend pas que l’idée et, par suite, l’acte de couper la gorge a été suggéré, par l’attouchement du rasoir, un groupe de phénomènes dont il ne soupçonne pas l’existence en lui. Il n’a vu que le résultat de la suggestion, le mouvement du bras, et c’est pour cela qu’il interprète en disant: «J’avais une envie affreuse de lui couper la gorge.» Ces impulsions nous ont donc montré une forme intéressante d’acte désagrégé incomplet, c’est-à-dire à demi connu par le sujet, mais dont le point de départ, au lieu d’être dans la première conscience, comme nous l’avions vu dans nos études sur le pendule enregistreur, se trouve en réalité dans la seconde.

Ecerpt from pages 430-433:
[translation by Google Translate]
We still find analogies in our hypnotic experiences which allow us to study the psychology of alienation. Leonie had a sort of crisis of incomplete hysteria, she was fidgeting and screaming without my being able to calm her down. Suddenly she stops and says to me in terror: “Oh! who is speaking to me like this? that scares me. – Nobody speaks to you, I am alone with you. – But yes, there on the left.” And here she gets up and wants to open a cupboard on her left to see if anyone is hidden there. “What do you mean then? I said. – I hear a voice on the left repeating: “Enough, enough, be quiet, you’re boring us.” Certainly the voice which spoke thus was in its right, but I had not suggested anything of the similar kind and hardly thought to cause at this moment a hallucination of the hearing. Another day, the same subject, during the first sleepwalking, was quite calm, but stubbornly refused to answer what was asked of him. She heard the same voice on the left again saying to her: “Come on, be wise, you must say.” These words obviously came, we know enough about this subject to guess, from the inferior character who existed below this layer of consciousness. It was very easy to verify it by automatic writing or by bringing about a deeper sleepwalking. But how, according to the theories of disaggregation that we have outlined, is it possible that the ideas of the second subconscious character become hallucinations of hearing for the first?
Let us reproduce the fact experimentally: during a deep sleepwalking state, I charge Leonie 3 to say something to the other, for example to say “Hello” to her, then I wake her up. The hallucination occurs in the same way and Leonie asks again: “Who is saying “Hello?” But this time, I too heard the word “Hello”, because the mouth spoke it perfectly, although very low. These hallucinations of subconscious origin were due, in this case, to the hearing of a true automatic speech analogous to the writing of mediums. The subject heard his own subconscious speech, just as the medium read his automatic writing, and both attributed this speech or writing to beings other than themselves.

These words of subconscious origin are not rarer than other impulses of the same kind and present themselves with the same characteristics. “Often”, said one of the little Cevennes prophets, “I don’t know how the word that the spirit has already made me begin will end. It has happened to me sometimes that thinking I was going to pronounce a word or a sentence, it was only a simple inarticulate song that formed by my voice... While I speak, my mind pays attention to what my mouth is saying, as if it was a speech made by another, but which leaves vivid impressions in my memory [1]”.

[1] Avertissements prophétiques d’ÉIie Marion. – Gasparin. Op. cit., II, 22.

The famous Lisa Andersdocter, in 1841, sang and delivered in spite of herself the more or less eloquent speeches [2].

[2] Mirville. Op. cit., I, 241.

Mrs. X, fifty years old, old hysterical, from time to time experiences the need to go shout in a corner and tell its secrets [3].”

[3] Luys. Maladies mentales, 212.

Finally, degenerates, of whom M. Saury speaks, very often have impulses to swear and obscenities in spite of themselves, as mediums were inclined to write. But when the subject hears his own voice speaking thus, or when he senses through the muscular sense the beginning of these words, he imagines hearing a foreign voice which he locates in such or such place and which he specifies var, guesses. “A patient himself speaks aloud and then claims that it is a voice that he hears; if we keep his lips closed, he still hears the voice, but we feel the lips move under the fingers [4].”

[4] Moreau (de Tours). Haschich, 354.

“M. X… hears voices, but it is easy to see that his tongue moves in spite of himself as the inner voice speaks [5]”.

[5] Ballet. Langage intérieur, 64. – D’autres exemples, Despine. Somnambulisme, 66, etc.

I had the opportunity to verify the fact about an insane person quite recently. An excited and half-maniacal individual claimed to communicate from afar with counts and marquises living in Paris. I begged him to say hello for me to M. le marquis – he rubbed his head on one side (it was his cabalistic sign to go to the marquis) and said aloud: “M. le marquis, I am responsible for wishing you good morning”; then he tilted his head to the side as if to listen with great attention; but his mouth spoke very low and murmured: “You will tell this gentleman that...” I could not hear the rest, but the patient straightened up and said aloud to me: “M. le marquis asked me to thank you.... I heard it perfectly.” It was obviously his own words that suggested his hallucination of hearing.
Is it not natural to interpret in the same way the fixed ideas that we have pointed out, and should we not, with many alienists, like Moreau (de Tours), Max Simon [6] and others, consider these fixed ideas as impulses of the function of language?

[6] Max Simon. Le monde des rêves, 1888, 106.

“They influence my thinking”, said a madwoman “... they make me speak in spite of myself [7].”

[7] Moreau. Haschich, 330.

She was absolutely right, for to hear yourself speak in spite of yourself is to think in spite of yourself; repeating the same sentence over and over without having the will to do it is to have a fixed idea [8].

[8] Cf. Wundt. Psychologie physiologique, II, 433.

The conscious mind develops its fixed idea as it wants and increases its delirium, but the idea itself comes from automatic speech which does not depend on this conscious thought. Moreau (de Tours) did not believe in a similar theory when he wrote: “In the mental conceptions of the insane, what is active or belonging to the waking state are the psychological consequences of the fixed idea, the deductions that the patient logically draws from this idea, the feelings and passions that it arouses; but the fixed idea, the morbid thought which sums up in itself all the delirium, because it is the starting point of all the aberrations, this thought belongs entirely to the passive state of sleep, it originated in analogous psycho-organic conditions [9]”.

[9] Moreau (de Tours). Psychologie morbide, 147.

However simple and, in some cases, the truth of these hypotheses, I do not believe that they are sufficient to always explain these kinds of collaboration of the group of subconscious phenomena and the group of conscious phenomena. Very often the intermediary between the two groups, that is to say the physical phenomenon produced by one and felt by the other, is not visible; there is not always a gesture or a word which comes to communicate to one of the people the thoughts and the modifications of the other. When a thought, an auditory hallucination and above all a visual hallucination suddenly appears in the consciousness of the lunatic, it must be admitted that the unconscious phenomena have suddenly and automatically brought about a conscious phenomenon without an intermediary. This fact is obvious; but as we have already noticed at the beginning of this chapter about the divination wand, it is not easy to understand. Were we not saying, in fact, that these two groups of phenomena were separate, disaggregated, and that it was precisely this characteristic which formed the two fields of consciousness? How can these phenomena both relate to each other by association and yet be disaggregated?


[original in French]
Nous trouvons encore des analogies dans nos expériences hypnotiques qui permettent d’étudier la psychologie de l’aliénation. Léonie avait une sorte de crise d’hystérie incomplète, elle s’agitait et criait sans qu’il me fût possible de la calmer. Tout d’un coup elle s’arrête et me dit avec terreur: «Oh! qui donc me parle ainsi? cela me fait peur. – Personne ne vous parle, je suis seul avec vous. – Mais si, là à gauche.» Et la voici qui se lève et veut ouvrir une armoire placée à sa gauche pour voir si quelqu’un y est caché. «Qu’entendez-vous donc? lui dis-je. – J’entends à gauche une voix qui répète: «Assez, assez, tiens-toi donc tranquille, tu nous ennuies.» Certes la voix qui parlait ainsi était dans son droit, mais je n’avais rien suggéré de pareil et ne pensait guère à provoquer à ce moment une hallucination de l’ouïe. Un autre jour, le même sujet, pendant le premier somnambulisme, était bien calme, mais refusait obstinément de répondre à ce que lui demandais. Elle entendit encore à gauche la même voix qui lui dit: «Allons, sois donc sage, il faut dire.» Ces paroles provenaient évidemment, on connaît assez ce sujet pour le deviner, du personnage inférieur qui existait au-dessous de cette couche de conscience. Il fut très facile de le vérifier par l’écriture automatique ou en amenant un somnambulisme plus profond. Mais comment, d’après les théories de la désagrégation que nous avons exposées, est-il possible que les idées du second personnage subconscient deviennent des hallucinations de l’ouïe pour le premier?
Reproduisons le fait expérimentalement: pendant un état somnambulique profond, je charge Léonie 3 de dire quelque chose à l’autre, par exemple de lui dire «Bonjour», puis je la réveille. L’hallucination se produit de même et Léonie demande encore: «Qui donc dit «Bonjour?» Mais cette fois, moi aussi j’ai entendu le mot «Bonjour», car la bouche l’a parfaitement prononcé, quoique tout bas. Ces hallucinations d’origine subconsciente étaient dues, dans ce cas, à l’audition d’une véritable parole automatique analogue à l’écriture des médiums. Le sujet entendait sa propre parole subconsciente, de même que le médium lisait son écriture automatique, et l’un et l’autre attribuaient cette parole ou cette écriture à des êtres différents d’eux-mêmes.

Ces paroles d’origine subconsciente ne sont pas plus rares que les autres impulsions du même genre et se présentent avec les mêmes caractères. «Souvent, disait un des petits prophètes cévenols, j’ignore comment finira le mot que l’esprit m’a déjà fait commencer. Il m’est arrivé quelquefois que croyant aller prononcer une parole ou une sentence, ce n’était qu’un simple chant inarticulé qui se formait par ma voix... Pendant que je parle, mon esprit fait attention à ce que ma bouche prononce, comme si c’était un discours prononcé par un autre, mais qui laisse des impressions vives dans ma mémoire [1]».

[1] Avertissements prophétiques d’ÉIie Marion. – Gasparin. Op. cit., II, 22.

La célèbre Lisa Andersdocter, en 1841, chantait et prononçait malgré elle les discours plus ou moins éloquents [2].

[2] Mirville. Op. cit., I, 241.

Mme X., âgée de cinquante ans, ancienne hvstérique, éprouve, de temps en temps, le besoin d’aller vociférer dans un coin et dire ses secrets [3].»

[3] Luys. Maladies mentales, 212.

Enfin les dégénérés, dont parle M. Saury, ont très souvent des impulsions à dire des jurons et des obscénités malgré eux, comme les médiums avaient des dispositions à en écrire. Mais lorsque le sujet entend sa propre voix qui parle ainsi, ou quand il sent par le sens musculaire le début de ces paroles, il se figure entendre une voix étrangère qu’il localise à telle ou telle place et qu’il précise var ses propres suppositions. «Un malade parle lui-même tout haut et prétend ensuite que c’est une voix qu’il entend; si on lui tient les lèvres fermées, il entend encore la voix, mais on sent les lèvres remuer sous les doigts [4].»

[4] Moreau (de Tours). Haschich, 354.

«M. X. entend des voix, mais il est facile de constater que sa langue remue malgré lui au moment où parle la voix intérieure [5]».

[5] Ballet. Langage intérieur, 64. – D’autres exemples, Despine. Somnambulisme, 66, etc.

J’ai eu l’occasion de vérifier tout récemment le fait sur un aliéné. Un individu excité et à demi maniaque prétendait communiquer de loin avec des comtes et des marquis habitant Paris. Je le priai de dire bonjour de ma part à M. le marquis – il se frotta la tête d’un côté (c’était son signe cabalistique pour se transporter chez le marquis) et dit tout haut: «M. le marquis je suis chargé de vous souhaiter le bonjour»; puis il pencha la tête de côté comme pour écouter avec grande attention; mais sa bouche parlait tout bas et murmurait: «Vous direz à ce monsieur que...» Je ne pus entendre la suite, mais le malade se redressa et me dit tout haut: «M. le marquis m’a chargé de vous remercier... je l’ai parfaitement entendu.» C’était évidemment sa propre parole qui lui suggérait son hallucination de l’ouïe.
N’est-il pas naturel d’interpréter de la même manière les idées fixes que nous avons signalées, et ne devons-nous pas, avec beaucoup d’aliénistes, comme Moreau (de Tours), Max Simon [6] et d’autres, considérer ces idées fixes comme des impulsions de la fonction du langage?

[6] Max Simon. Le monde des rêves, 1888, 106.

«On influence ma pensée, disait une folle..., on me fait parler malgré moi [7].»

[7] Moreau. Haschich, 330.

Elle avait parfaitement raison, car s’entendre parler malgré soi, c’est penser malgré soi; répéter sans cesse une même phrase sans qu’on ait la volonté de le faire, c’est avoir une idée fixe [8].

[8] Cf. Wundt. Psychologie physiologique, II, 433.

L’esprit conscient développe son idée fixe comme il le veut et augmente son délire, mais l’idée elle-même vient d’une parole automatique qui ne dépend pas de cette pensée consciente. Moreau (de Tours) ne croyait-il pas à une théorie analogue quand il écrivait: «Dans les conceptions mentales de l’aliéné, ce qu’il y a d’actif ou d’appartenant à l’état de veille, ce sont les conséquences psychologiques qu’entraîne l’idée fixe, les déductions que le malade tire logiquement de cette idée, les sentiments et les passions qu’elle soulève; mais l’idée fixe, la pensée morbide qui résume en elle tout le délire, parce qu’elle est le point de départ de toutes les aberrations, cette pensée appartient tout entière à l’état passif du sommeil, elle a pris naissance dans des conditions psycho-organiques analogues [9]».

[9] Moreau (de Tours). Psychologie morbide, 147.

Quelle que soit la simplicité et, dans quelques cas, la vérité de ces hypothèses, je ne crois pas qu’elles suffisent à expliquer toujours ces sortes de collaboration du groupe des phénomènes subconscients et du groupe des phénomènes conscients. Bien souvent l’intermédiaire entre les deux groupes, c’est-à-dire le phénomène physique produit par l’un et senti par l’autre, n’est pas visible; il n’y a pas toujours un geste ou une parole qui vienne communiquer à l’une des personnes les pensées et les modifications de l’autre. Quand une pensée, une hallucination auditive et surtout une hallucination visuelle apparaît subitement à la conscience de l’aliéné, il faut admettre que les phénomènes inconscients ont amené tout d’un coup et automatiquement un phénomène conscient sans intermédiaire. Ce fait est évident; mais comme nous l’avons déjà remarqué au début de ce chapitre à propos de la baguette divinatoire, il n’est pas facile à comprendre. Ne disions-nous pas, en effet, que ces deux groupes de phénomènes étaient séparés, désagrégés, et que c’était précisément ce caractère qui formait les deux champs de la conscience? Comment ces phénomènes peuvent-ils la fois se rattacher l’un à l’autre par association et cependant être désagrégés?

Ecerpt from pages 439-440:
[translation by Google Translate]
Finally I wanted to study blindness in the left eye, but Marie objected to it when she was awake, saying that she had been so since birth. It was easy to verify, by somnambulism, that she was mistaken: if we change her into a small child of five years following the known procedures, she regains the sensitivity that she had at that age and it is found that she can see very well with both eyes. It was therefore at the age of six that blindness began. On what occasion? Marie persists in saying when she is awake that she does not know anything about it. During sleepwalking and thanks to successive transformations during which I make him act out the main scenes of his life at that time, I find that blindness begins at a certain point in connection with a trivial incident. She had been forced, despite her cries, to sleep with a child of her age who had strangles all over the left side of his face. Marie had, some time after, plates of strangles which appeared almost identical and which sat in the same place; these plaques reappeared several years at the same time, then healed, but no attention was paid that from that moment on she was anesthetic on the face on the left side and blind in the left eye. Since then, she has always kept this anesthesia, at least not to go beyond what has been observed, at some later time that I transport it by suggestion, it still has this same anesthesia, although the rest of the body resumes at certain times his full sensitivity. Same attempt as before for healing. I bring her back with the child she detests, I make her believe that the child is very nice and does not have the strings, she is only half convinced of it. After two rehearsals of the scene, I win my case and she fearlessly caresses the imaginary child. The tenderness on the left side reappears without difficulty, and when I wake her up, Marie sees clearly with my left eye.

[original in French]
Enfin je voulais étudier la cécité de l’œil gauche, mais Marie s’y opposait lorsqu’elle était éveillée, en disant qu’elle était ainsi depuis sa naissance. Il fut facile de vérifier, au moyen du somnambulisme, qu’elle se trompait: si on la change en petit enfant de cinq ans suivant les procédés connus, elle reprend la sensibilité qu’elle avait à cet âge et l’on constate qu’elle y voit alors très bien des deux yeux. C’est donc à l’âge de six ans que la cécité a commencé. À quelle occasion? Marie persiste à dire quand elle est éveillée, qu’elle n’en sait rien. Pendant le somnambulisme et grâce à des transformations successives pendant lesquelles je lui fais jouer les scènes principales de sa vie à cette époque, je constate que la cécité commence à un certain moment à propos d’un incident futile. On l’avait forcée, malgré ses cris, à coucher avec un enfant de son âge qui avait de la gourme sur tout le côté gauche de la face. Marie eut, quelque temps après, des plaques de gourme qui paraissaient à peu près identiques et qui siégeaient à la même place; ces plaques réapparurent plusieurs années à la même époque, puis guérirent, mais on ne fit pas attention qu’à partir de ce moment, elle est anesthésique de la face du côté gauche et aveugle de l’œil gauche. Depuis, elle a toujours conservé cette anesthésie, du moins, pour ne pas dépasser ce qui a pu être observé, à quelque époque postérieure que je la transporte par suggestion, elle a toujours cette même anesthésie,quoique le reste du corps reprenne à certaines époques sa sensibilité complète. Même tentative que précédemment pour la guérison. Je la ramène avec l’enfant dont elle a horreur, je lui fais croire que l’enfant est très gentil et n’a pas la gourme, elle n’en est qu’à demi convaincue. Après deux répétitions de la scène, j’obtiens gain de cause et elle caresse sans crainte l’enfant imaginaire. La sensibilité du côté gauche réapparaît sans difficulté et, quand je la réveille, Marie voit clair de l’œil gauche.

Ecerpt from pages 440-443:
[translation by Google Translate]
The patient notices that his arms and legs perform complicated acts unwittingly and in spite of himself, he hears his own mouth commanding or mocking him; he resists, he discusses, he fights against an individual who has formed in himself. How can he interpret his condition, what should he think of himself? Isn’t it reasonable when he claims to be possessed by a spirit, persecuted by a demon who dwells within himself. How could he doubt, when this second personality, borrowing his name from the dominant superstitions, declares himself Astaroth, Leviathan or Beelzebub? The belief in possession is only the popular translation of a psychological truth.
Sometimes the two personalities live in fairly good agreement and do not persecute each other. Some women are even quite proud of this breakdown in their personality and like to consult, on all matters of life, “the little business which they believe they have in their heart or stomach and which gives them good advice [1]”.

[1] Deleuze. Mémoire sur la faculté de prévision, 1836, 148.

“They have friendly talks with a revealing superintelligence who speaks through their mouths [2].”

[2] Bertrand. Somnambulisme, 233. – Cf. Mirville. Op. cit., I, 65.

Estelle, the famous patient of Dr Despine, does nothing without consulting “a good genius whom she feels forced to obey [3]”.

[3] Pigeaire. Puissance de l’électricité animale, 1839, 269.

“A subject never answered questions”, said Charpignon [4], “certainly: I am going to consult the other.... it is the genius responsible for guiding and enlightening me.”

[4] Charpignon. Physiologie magnétique, 414.

Most of the time, the secondary spirit is not so good-natured, it torments its victim and only gives him bad advice. We know well the patient of Moreau (of Tours), so curious in his disputes with “the sovereign [5]”, the convulsants of Saint-Médard, whom their spirits force to turn indefinitely on one foot or which they prevent from eating [6], and the nuns of Loudun tormented by all the evil spirits who embodied their passions [7].

[5] Moreau. Haschich, 337. – Cf. Ball. Maladies mentales, 91.
[6] Gasparin. Op. cit., II, 60.
[7] Paul Richer. La grande hystérie, 825.


Sometimes there are several spirits in the same person, some good, some bad, who quarrel among themselves: “A child is possessed by two spirits, one bad, the other good; in his fits, his mouth changing tone, spoke successively for one and the other [8].”

[8] Maudsley. Pathologie de l’esprit, 294.

These spirits don’t just talk, they act. Here is an account from the superior of Loudun that we were well disposed to consider as lying: “One of the spirits which was in her, Beelzebub, wanted to burn her, she did not consent, he threw her against the fire and she was found all dozed off, head almost touching the fire [9].”

[9] Paul Richer. Op. cit., 811.

However, a similar fact happened almost before our eyes: a person, dissatisfied with the automatic writing which his hand wanted to make, took the papers written in this way and threw them into the fire; the second personality was furious and, in a convulsion, put the subject’s hand in the fire, severely burned it, then boasted of it in all his automatic communications. One of the best summaries of all these phenomena is found in the description that such a possessed person gives of his own state: “I cannot explain to you what is going on in me during this time and how this spirit unites. with mine without depriving it of knowledge or freedom, nevertheless doing like another myself and as if I had two souls, one of which is dispossessed of its body and of the use of its organs and is four by seeing the one who got in. The two spirits fight in the same field which is the body, and the soul is as it were shared; according to one part of oneself, it is the subject of diabolical impressions, and, according to the other, of the movements which are proper to it and which God gives it [10].”

[10] Déposition du père Surin, d’après Berillon. – Dualité cérébrale, 102.

The various epidemics of the possessions of Loudun, Saint-Médard, Morzine, Verzegnin, Plédran, etc. [11], are well known; they show us all the possible examples of these various destructions of the mental compound.

[11] Cf. Regnard. La sorcellerie, 1887, 40, 70... passim.

Conclusion

Mental disintegration, the formation of successive and simultaneous personalities in the same individual, the automatic functioning of these various psychological groups isolated from one another are not artificial things, the bizarre result of experimental maneuvers. These are perfectly real and natural things that experience allows us to discover and study, but does not create. These things show themselves naturally in all ways and with all degrees. Sometimes a very slight separation leaves outside the mind only insignificant phenomena, incapable of acting by themselves and docile servants of conscious thought. They exaggerate, they modify the manifestations of normal thought, but they do not oppose it. Sometimes the second personality speaks for itself, takes the name of a spirit and brings its reflections to light, but only when the first personality allows it and leaves it free to act. Sometimes, finally, the abnormal group is rich enough by itself to impose itself on the subject’s attention, to disturb him and take away his freedom. But, from the most insignificant subconscious act to the most terrible possessions, it is always the same psychological mechanism which gradually brings about the complete dissolution of the mind.
We have not looked for new laws in this chapter, we have simply observed numerous, and sometimes complicated, applications of old laws. Our hypotheses seemed to us to remain sufficient to explain the various facts of divination by the wand, spiritualism, impulsive madness and hallucination. This is a confirmation which has its value. But at the same time that our hypotheses were being confirmed by applying themselves to new facts, they were becoming more precise in their most delicate parts. We have seen, in fact, in the present chapter, much better than in the preceding one, the difference, and sometimes even the opposition which exists between the pure and simple automatism result of simple and old syntheses, and the current activity of the spirit which unites phenomena in new groups and units. The phenomena which are united and dependent in the first automatism may very well be separated and independent in the second. The two activities of thought are distinguished and become more and more precise.



[original in French]
Le malade constate que ses bras et ses jambes font à son insu et malgré lui des actes compliqués, il entend sa propre bouche lui commander ou le railler; il résiste, il discute, il combat contre un individu qui s’est formé en lui-même. Comment peut-il interpréter son état, que doit-il penser de lui-même? N’est-il pas raisonnable quand il se dit possédé par un esprit, persécuté par un démon qui habite au dedans de lui-même. Comment douterait-il, quand cette seconde personnalité, empruntant son nom aux superstitions dominantes, se déclare elle-même Astaroth, Léviathan ou Belzébuth? La croyance à la possession n’est que la traduction populaire d’une vérité psychologique.
Tantôt les deux personnalités vivent en assez bon accord et ne se persécutent pas réciproquement. Certaines femmes sont même assez fières de ce détraquement de leur personnalité et se plaisent à consulter, sur toutes les affaires de la vie, «la petite affaire qu’elles croient avoir au cœur ou à l’estomac et qui leur donne de bons conseils [1]».

[1] Deleuze. Mémoire sur la faculté de prévision, 1836, 148.

«Elle ont des colloques amicaux avec une surintelligence révélatrice qui parle par leur bouche [2].»

[2] Bertrand. Somnambulisme, 233. – Cf. Mirville. Op. cit., I, 65.

Estelle, la célèbre malade du Dr Despine, ne fait rien sans consulter «un bon génie auquel elle se sent forcé d’obéir [3]».

[3] Pigeaire. Puissance de l’électricité animale, 1839, 269.

«Un sujet ne répondait jamais aux questions, disait Charpignon [4], sans dire: «Je vais consulter l’autre.... c’est le génie chargé de me guider et de m’éclairer.»

[4] Charpignon. Physiologie magnétique, 414.

Le plus souvent l’esprit secondaire n’est pas d’aussi bonne composition, il tourmente sa victime et ne lui donne que des mauvais conseils. On connaît bien le malade de Moreau (de Tours), si curieux dans ses disputes avec «la souveraine [5]», les convulsionnaires de Saint-Médard que leurs esprits forcent à tourner indéfiniment sur un pied ou qu’il empêchent de manger [6], et les religieuses de Loudun tourmentées par tous les esprits mauvais qui incarnaient leurs passions [7].

[5] Moreau. Haschich, 337. – Cf. Ball. Maladies mentales, 91.
[6] Gasparin. Op. cit., II, 60.
[7] Paul Richer. La grande hystérie, 825.

Quelquefois il y a plusieurs esprits dans une même personne, les uns bons, les autres mauvais, qui se disputent entre eux: «Un enfant est possédé par deux esprits, l’un mauvais, l’autre bon; dans ses crises, sa bouche changeant de ton, parlait successivement pour l’un et pour l’autre [8].»

[8] Maudsley. Pathologie de l’esprit, 294.

Ces esprits ne se contentent pas de parler, ils agissent. Voici un récit de la supérieure de Loudun que nous étions bien disposé à considérer comme mensonger: «L’un des esprits qui était en elle, Belzébuth, la voulait brûler, elle ne consentait pas, il la jeta contre le feu et elle fut trouvée tout assoupie, la tête touchant presque au feu [9].»

[9] Paul Richer. Op. cit., 811.

Cependant un fait analogue s’est passé presque sous nos yeux: une personne, mécontente de l’écriture automatique que sa main voulait faire, prenait les papiers écrits de la sorte et les jetait au feu; la seconde personnalité fut furieuse et, par une convulsion, mit la main du sujet dans le feu, la brûla sérieusement, puis s’en vanta ensuite dans toutes ses communications automatiques. L’un des meilleurs résumés de tous ces phénomènes se trouve dans la description qu’un possédé de ce genre donne de son propre état: «Je ne saurais vous expliquer ce qui se passe en moi pendant ce temps et comment cet esprit s’unit avec le mien sans lui ôter la connaissance ni la liberté, en faisant néanmoins comme un autre moi-même et comme si j’avais deux âmes dont l’une est dépossédée de son corps et de l’usage de ses organes et se tient à quatre en voyant faire celle qui s’y est introduite. Les deux esprits se combattent dans un même champ qui est le corps, et l’âme est comme partagée; selon une partie de soi, elle est le sujet des impressions diaboliques, et, selon l’autre, des mouvements qui lui sont propres et que Dieu lui donne [10].»

[10] Déposition du père Surin, d’après Berillon. – Dualité cérébrale, 102.

Les diverses épidémies de possessions de Loudun, de Saint-Médard, de Morzine, de Verzegnin, de Plédran, etc. [11], sont bien connues; elles nous montrent tous les exemples possibles de ces diverses destructions du composé mental.

[11] Cf. Regnard. La sorcellerie, 1887, 40, 70... passim.

Conclusion

La désagrégation mentale, la formation des personnalités successives et simultanées dans le même individu, le fonctionnement automatique de ces divers groupes psychologiques isolés les uns des autres ne sont pas des choses artificielles, résultat bizarre de manœuvres expérimentales. Ce sont des choses parfaitement réelles et naturelles que l’expérience nous permet de découvrir et d’étudier, mais qu’elle ne crée pas. Ces choses se montrent naturellement de toutes les manières et avec tous les degrés. Tantôt une séparation très légère ne laisse en dehors de l’esprit que des phénomènes insignifiants, incapables d’agir par eux-mêmes et dociles serviteurs de la pensée consciente. Ils exagèrent, ils modifient les manifestations de la pensée normale, mais ils ne s’y opposent pas. Tantôt la seconde personnalité parle pour son propre compte, prend le nom d’un esprit et met au jour ses réflexions, mais seulement quand la première personnalité le lui permet et la laisse libre d’agir. Tantôt enfin le groupe anormal est assez riche par lui-même pour s’imposer à l’attention du sujet, pour le troubler et lui enlever sa liberté. Mais, depuis l’acte subconscient le plus insignifiant jusqu’aux possessions les plus terribles, c’est toujours le même mécanisme psychologique qui amène peu à peu la dissolution complète de l’esprit.
Nous n’avons pas cherché dans ce chapitre les lois nouvelles, nous avons simplement constaté des applications nombreuses, et quelquefois compliquées, de lois anciennes. Nos hypothèses nous ont paru rester suffisantes pour expliquer les faits variés de la divination par la baguette, du spiritisme, de la folie impulsive et de l’hallucination. C’est là une confirmation qui a bien sa valeur. Mais, en même temps que nos hypothèses se confirmaient en s’appliquant à des faits nouveaux, elles se précisaient dans leurs parties les plus délicates. Nous avons vu, en effet, dans le présent chapitre, beaucoup mieux que dans le précédent, la différence, et quelquefois même l’opposition qui existe entre l’automatisme pur et simple résultat de synthèses simples et anciennes, et l’activité actuelle de l’esprit qui réunit les phénomènes dans des groupes et des unités nouvelles. Les phénomènes qui sont réunis et dépendants dans le premier automatisme peuvent très bien être séparés et indépendants dans le second. Les deux activités de la pensée se distinguent et se précisent de plus en plus.

Ecerpt from pages 445-446:
[translation by Google Translate]
One of the main reasons for this error (I can point it out all the better because I was deceived by it at the start of my research) is that induced sleepwalking replaces and therefore temporarily suppresses most of the hysterical symptoms. “We make seizures disappear when we replace them with sleepwalking”, the magnetizers were already saying [1], “but only on this condition; as soon as one stops, the crises start again.”

[1] Dupau. Lettres magnétiques, 1826, 178.

“Oddly enough”, say the moderns as well, “provoked sleepwalking makes natural sleepwalking disappear... and hysterical attacks [2].”

[2] Gilles de la Tourette. Op. cit., 173, 285.

My observations are very clear on this point: three sessions of sleepwalking completely stopped Lucie’s fits; Rose didn’t have a seizure when I hypnotized her and started them again when I stopped; better still, Leonie, after a great number of magnetizations, had lost all the symptoms of hysteria and retained only somnambulism. But the hysteria is still latent, easy to recognize almost always from sensory disturbances, in any case, ready to manifest itself strongly at the first opportunity, as it happened for Leonie at the time of menopause.


[original in French]
Une des raisons principales de cette erreur (je puis d’autant mieux la signaler que j’ai été trompé par elle au début de mes recherches), c’est que le somnambulisme provoqué remplace et par conséquent supprime momentanément la plupart des symptômes hystériques. «On fait disparaître les crises, quand on les remplace par du somnambulisme, disaient déjà les magnétiseurs [1], mais seulement à cette condition; dès que l’on cesse, les crises reprennent.»

[1] Dupau. Lettres magnétiques, 1826, 178.

«Chose curieuse, disent de même les modernes, le somnambulisme provoqué fait disparaître le somnambulisme naturel... et les crises d’hystérie [2].»

[2] Gilles de la Tourette. Op. cit., 173, 285.

Mes observations sont très nettes sur ce point: trois séances de somnambulisme arrêtaient complètement les crises de Lucie; Rose n’avait pas de crise quand je l’hypnotisais et les recommençait quand je cessais; bien mieux, Léonie, après un grand nombre de magnétisations, avait perdu tous les symptômes d’hystérie et ne conservait que le seul somnambulisme. Mais l’hystérie reste encore latente, facile à reconnaître presque toujours à des troubles sensoriels, en tous les cas, prête à se manifester fortement à la première occasion, comme il arriva pour Léonie au moment de la ménopause.

Ecerpt from page 448:
[translation by Google Translate]
I replaced convulsive fits by contractures, tremors, even by fits of sweating, general; I suppressed Lucie’s seizures by telling her to fall asleep as soon as she felt the aura. Instead of rolling in convulsions, she would lie down very quietly and remain still; if anyone spoke to her she would reply in a confident tone: “Don’t disturb me, Mr. Janet forbade me to move.” This lasted as long as the crisis would have lasted.

[original in French]
J’ai remplacé des crises convulsives par des contractures, des tremblements, même par des accès de sueurs, générales; j’ai supprimé les crises de Lucie en lui disant de s’endormir dès qu’elle sentirait l’aura. Au lieu de se rouler en convulsions, elle se couchait bien tranquillement et restait immobile; si on lui parlait elle répondait, d’un ton convaincu: «Ne me dérangez pas, M. Janet m’a défendu de bouger.» Cela durait tout le temps qu’aurait duré la crise.

Ecerpt from pages 450-451:
[translation by Google Translate]
If we try to avoid this confusion and if we restrict the name of hysteria to a set of well-characterized symptoms, then we must admit that somnambulism, suggestion and mental disintegration exist apart from frank hysteria.. A doctor who also dealt with hypnotism pointed out to me how easily most consumptives go into sleepwalking; this is very true, although not all of them have hysterical symptoms. In typhoid fever, we obtain partial catalepsy, the movements suggested, etc., with the greatest facility, and, were it not for too natural scruples, we could very quickly hypnotize the patients entirely. Waking Suggestions, Arcanum Pills, and Magnetized Plates work wonders on chlorotic maidens. Drunkenness with alcohol, as we have shown a curious example, makes a man more suggestible and more automatic than a sleepwalker. Moreau (de Tours) studies on hashish intoxication are even more precise on this point [1].

[1] Moreau (de Tours). Haschich, 141, 117.

Sleep, which in itself is not a hypnotic state, can be very conducive to the suggestion and formation of sleepwalking [2].

[2] Cf. Back-Tuke, 159; – Moreau (de Tours), 256, 234. – Cullère. Les frontières de la folie, 1888, 211.

Menstrual periods, as I have seen in Lucie and Marie, make people who were no longer hypnotizable and suggestible again. Finally, impulses and fixed ideas are indeed forms of mental disaggregation and suggestion, and they present themselves in a crowd of individuals who are not neuropaths, in the precise sense of the word [3].

[3] Moreau (de Tours). Ibid., 106.

These remarks make it possible to understand how certain doctors, experimenting in hospitals where usually the sick are usually found, have obtained so many examples of somnambulism on subjects which, strictly speaking, did not deserve the name of hysterics.

[original in French]
Si l’on cherche à éviter cette confusion et si l’on restreint le nom d’hystérie à un ensemble de symptômes bien caractérisés, il faut avouer alors que le somnambulisme, la suggestion et la désagrégation mentale existent en dehors de l’hystérie franche. Un médecin qui s’occupait aussi d’hypnotisme m’a fait remarquer avec quelle facilité la plupart des phtisiques entraient en somnambulisme; cela est très vrai, quoiqu’ils n’aient pas tous des symptômes hystériques. On obtient, dans la fièvre typhoïde, la catalepsie partielle, les mouvements suggérés, etc., avec la plus grande facilité, et, n’étaient des scrupules trop naturels, on pourrait très vite hypnotiser les malades entièrement. Les suggestions à l’état de veille, les pilules d’arcanum et les plaques magnétisées font merveille sur les jeunes filles chlorotiques. L’ivresse de l’alcool, comme nous en avons montré un exemple curieux, rend un homme plus suggestible et plus automatique qu’une somnambule. Les études de Moreau (de Tours) sur l’ivresse du haschich sont encore plus précises sur ce point [1].

[1] Moreau (de Tours). Haschich, 141, 117.

Le sommeil, qui n’est pas par lui-même un état hypnotique, peut être très favorable à la suggestion et à la formation du somnambulisme [2].

[2] Cf. Back-Tuke, 159; – Moreau (de Tours), 256, 234. – Cullère. Les frontières de la folie, 1888, 211.

Les époques menstruelles, comme je l’ai constaté chez Lucie et chez Marie, rendent de nouveau hypnotisables et suggestibles des personnes qui ne l’étaient plus. Enfin, les impulsions et les idées fixes sont bien des formes de désagrégation mentale et de suggestion, et elles se présentent chez une foule d’individus qui ne sont pas des névropathes, au sens précis du mot [3].

[3] Moreau (de Tours). Ibid., 106.

Ces remarques permettent de comprendre comment certains médecins, expérimentant dans des hôpitaux où d’ordinaire se trouvent surtout des malades, aient obtenu tant d’exemples de somnambulisme sur des sujets qui, à strictement parler, ne méritaient pas le nom d’hystériques.

Ecerpt from pages 457-460:
[translation by Google Translate]
Hack Tuke repeatedly quotes individuals who have become blind or deaf as a result of strong emotion [1].

[1] Hack-Tuke. Le corps et l’esprit, 109.

I myself have observed that, in hysterics on the road to recovery, any sudden emotion brings back anesthesia. In short, emotion has a dissolving action on the mind, diminishes its synthesis and makes it miserable for a moment.
What will be the results of this accidental misery? They are very different according to the circumstances: if, during this unhappy period, the patient was not impressed by any abnormal sensation, if he was not struck by any precise and dangerous idea, he will recover without any difficulty, will retain little or no recollection of this accidental state and will remain, for the rest of his life, perfectly free and reasonable. How many people have had such opportunities to go mad that they have not taken advantage of. But if, unfortunately, a new, characteristic and dangerous impulse is made on the mind at this moment when it is unable to resist, it takes root in a group of abnormal phenomena, it develops there and no longer fades away.. It is in vain that the unfortunate circumstances disappear and the mind tries to regain its accustomed power, the fixed idea, like an unhealthy virus, has been sown in him and is developing in a place of his person that he does not know, can no longer reach, it acts subconsciously, disturbs the conscious mind, and causes all the accidents of hysteria or madness. A seventeen-year-old girl was brought to the hospital who began to have terror attacks because she was followed at night in the streets by a stranger at the time of her times; it was at the same time that Marie made the stupidities which left such a strong mark on her life; there are countless examples of this kind. Here are some more rare ones: “A forty-year-old clergyman, tells Erasmus Darwin, one day found himself in company and he drank wine... Being completely drunk, he swallowed the seal of a letter. One of the guests said to him jokingly: “You will have the guts sealed”; from this moment he became melancholy and, after two days, he refused to take any solid or liquid food. He replied that nothing could pass and he died as a result of this misconception [2].”

[2] Erasme Darwin. Zoonomie, IV, 77.

Likewise, the impulse to cut his throat with a razor, which he had never thought of before, came to the young man of whom I have spoken, when, in a fit of disintegration and moral weakness, he had the misfortune of touch a razor. This is why the fixed ideas of these unfortunate people are linked to their profession, to the books they have the opportunity to read, to the words they hear in their moments of weakness. “It is the news that decides the forms of madness, because it is the current circumstances that provoke them, but these ideas neither create madness nor a predisposition to madness, they do not explain this nervous state, this physical and moral hyperesthesia that heredity has deposited in the depths of their being and which ends sooner or later by taking away both reason and conscience [3].”

[3] Moreau (de Tours). Psychologie morbide, 126.

No one in fact expressed better than Moreau (de Tours) the need for this primordial state of momentary psychic weakness to explain the invasion of madness. “The fixed idea, he repeats over and over again in every way, does not arise without reason, it is the result of a deep, radical modification of the whole intelligence. It is an enormous mistake of psychology to confuse it with error... The madman is not mistaken, he acts in an intellectual sphere different from ours that one cannot correct more than the day before cannot correct dreams... Fixed ideas are the detached parts of a dream state that continues in the waking... It is a partial dream... [4]”

[4] Moreau (de Tours). Haschich, 123.

The fixed idea is the result of this intellectual decomposition, a result which persists, even though in many respects this decomposition has ceased and intelligence has in a way been recomposed, it is the main idea of a dream that survives and engendered the dream [5].”

[5] Moreau (de Tours). Haschich, 98.

It is impossible to express better what seems to us to be the truth, and we only wish, by our studies on mental disintegration and on the persistence of ideas in the subconscious state, to have helped to clarify and strengthen the theories of the great psychologist alienist.

Another characteristic of these fixed ideas, the result of a non-permanent but temporary disintegration, is that they are much more difficult to reach and to modify. You do whatever you want with the consciousness of a hysteric, because she is currently in the state of psychological misery which makes her manageable. You do not modify an insane person in the same way, because you usually only study him in the period when his delirium is organized and when the intelligence has returned to a state of stable equilibrium that cannot be disturbed. We would have to find out whether we could not bring the individual back to the psychological state in which the delirium took its origin. Thus, I would have tried to intoxicate the patient of Erasmus Darwin a second time, in order to find out whether one could not, in a new intoxication, have more power over the fixed idea. We could also sometimes expect periodic states which would bring back the initial conditions of delirium. But we understand that, in any case, we find ourselves in the presence of all other difficulties. I still believe, however, that pathological psychology, which has taken its first steps in recent years, reserves unexpected help for the relief of the insane.

We wondered, after all our studies on automatism, if these phenomena were absolutely created by the disease. We can answer now that they do not belong to any particular disease and in some way specific, that they are quite simply the result of a kind of weakness which we have called psychological misery. Let these individuals manifest their disease in a thousand different ways; whether they make the tables speak and evoke the soul of Gutenberg, whether they open a hospital for sick dogs, or give lectures against vivisection, whether they contract: their limbs or contort them anyway in a sort of muscle delirium; all this does not change their illness and does not create new psychological phenomena. It is always because of the same weakness, the same fatigue, that they abandon themselves without resistance and allow this or that group of sensations and images to develop indefinitely.


[original in French]
Hack Tuke cite à plusieurs reprises des individus qui sont devenus aveugles ou sourds à la suite d’une forte émotion [1].

[1] Hack-Tuke. Le corps et l’esprit, 109.

J’ai constaté moi-même que, chez des hystériques en voie de guérison, toute émotion subite ramène des anesthésies. En un mot, l’émotion a une action dissolvante sur l’esprit, diminue sa synthèse et le rend pour un moment misérable.
Quels seront les résultats de cette misère accidentelle? Ils sont bien différents suivant les circonstances: si, pendant cette période malheureuse, le malade n’a été impressionné par aucune sensation anormale, s’il n’a été frappé par aucune idée précise et dangereuse, il va guérir sans aucune difficulté, conservera peu ou point de souvenir de cet état accidentel et restera, pendant le reste de sa vie, parfaitement libre et raisonnable. Que de gens ont eu ainsi des occasions de devenir fous dont ils n’ont pas profité. Mais si, par malheur, une impulsion nouvelle, caractéristique et dangereuse est faite sur l’esprit à ce moment où il est incapable de résister, elle prend racine dans un groupe de phénomènes anormaux, elle s’y développe et ne s’efface plus. C’est en vain que les circonstances fâcheuses disparaissent et que l’esprit essaye de reprendre sa puissance accoutumée, l’idée fixe, comme un virus malsain, a été semée en lui et se développe à un endroit de sa personne qu’il ne peut plus atteindre, elle agit subconsciemment, trouble l’esprit conscient et provoque tous les accidents de l’hystérie ou de la folie. On a amené à l’hôpital une jeune fille de dix-sept ans qui a commencé des crises de terreur parce qu’elle a été suivie la nuit dans les rues par un inconnu au moment de ses époques; c’est au même moment que Marie a fait les sottises qui ont laissé une si forte marque sur sa vie; les exemples de ce genre sont innombrables. En voici de plus rares: «Un ecclésiastique de quarante ans, raconte Erasme Darwin, se trouva un jour en compagnie et il but du vin... Étant complètement ivre, il avala le cachet d’une lettre. Un des convives lui dit en plaisantant: «Vous aurez les boyaux cachetés»; de ce moment, il devint mélancolique et, au bout de deux jours, il refusa de prendre aucune nourriture solide ou liquide. Il répondait que rien ne pouvait passer et il mourut en conséquence de cette fausse idée [2].»

[2] Erasme Darwin. Zoonomie, IV, 77.

De même, l’impulsion de couper la gorge avec un rasoir, à laquelle il ne pensait pas auparavant, vint au jeune homme dont j’ai parlé, quand, dans un accès de désagrégation et de faiblesse morale, il eut le malheur de toucher un rasoir. C’est pour cela que les idées fixes de ces malheureux sont rattachées à leur profession, aux livres qu’ils ont l’occasion de lire, aux paroles qu’ils entendent dans leurs moments de faiblesse. «C’est l’actualité qui décide des formes de la folie, parce que ce sont les circonstances actuelles qui les provoquent, mais ces idées ne créent ni la folie ni la prédisposition à la folie, elles n’expliquent pas cet état nerveux, cette hyperesthésie physique et morale que l’hérédité a déposée au fond de leur être et qui finit tôt ou tard par emporter et la raison et la conscience [3].»

[3] Moreau (de Tours). Psychologie morbide, 126.

Nul en effet n’a mieux exprimé que Moreau (de Tours) la nécessité de cet état primordial de faiblesse psychique momentané pour expliquer l’invasion de la folie. «L’idée fixe, répète-t-il sans cesse de toutes les manières, ne survient pas sans raison, c’est le résultat d’une modification profonde, radicale de toute l’intelligence. C’est une faute énorme de psychologie que de la confondre avec l’erreur... Le fou ne se trompe pas, il agit dans une sphère intellectuelle différente de la nôtre qu’on ne peut pas plus redresser que la veille ne peut redresser les rêves... Les idées fixes sont les parties détachés d’un état de rêve qui se poursuit dans la veille... C’est un rêve partiel... [4]»

[4] Moreau (de Tours). Haschich, 123.

«L’idée fixe est le résultat de cette décomposition intellectuelle, résultat qui persiste, alors même qu’à beaucoup d’égards cette décomposition a cessé et que l’intelligence s’est en quelque sorte recomposée, c’est l’idée principale d’un rêve qui survit au rêve et qui l’a engendrée [5].»

[5] Moreau (de Tours). Haschich, 98.

Il est impossible d’exprimer mieux ce qui nous semble la vérité, et nous souhaitons seulement, par nos études sur la désagrégation mentale et sur la persistance des idées à l’état subconscient, avoir contribué à préciser et à fortifier les théories du grand aliéniste psychologue.

Un autre caractère de ces idées fixes, résultat d’une désagrégation non permanente mais passagère, c’est qu’il est beaucoup plus difficile de les atteindre et de les modifier. Vous faites de la conscience d’une hystérique tout ce que vous voulez, parce qu’elle est actuellement dans l’état de misère psychologique qui la rend maniable. Vous ne modifiez pas de la même manière un aliéné, parce que vous ne l’étudiez d’ordinaire que dans la période où son délire est organisé et quand l’intelligence est revenue à un état d’équilibre stable qu’on ne peut déranger. Il faudrait chercher si l’on ne pourrait pas ramener l’individu à l’état psychologique dans lequel le délire a pris son origine. Ainsi, j’aurais essayé d’enivrer une seconde fois le malade d’Erasme Darwin, afin de rechercher si l’on ne pourrait pas, dans une nouvelle ivresse, avoir plus de pouvoir sur l’idée fixe. On pourrait aussi attendre quelquefois des états périodiques qui ramèneraient les conditions initiales du délire. Mais on comprend que, de toutes manières, on se trouve en présence de toutes autres difficultés. Je persiste cependant à croire que la psychologie pathologique, qui fait depuis quelques années ses premiers pas, réserve des secours inattendus pour le soulagement des aliénés.

Nous nous demandions, après toutes nos études sur l’automatisme, si ces phénomènes étaient absolument créés par la maladie. Nous pouvons répondre maintenant qu’ils n’appartient pas à une maladie particulière et en quelque sorte spécifique, qu’ils sont tout simplement le résultat d’une sorte de faiblesse que nous avons appelée la misère psychologique. Que ces individus manifestent leur maladie de mille manières différentes; qu’ils fassent parler les tables et évoquent l’âme de Gutenberg, qu’ils ouvrent un hôpital pour chiens malades, ou fassent des conférences contre la vivisection, qu’ils contracturent: leurs membres ou les contorsionnent de toutes façons dans une sorte de délire musculaire; tout cela ne change pas leur maladie et ne crée pas des phénomènes psychologiques nouveaux. C’est toujours à cause de la même faiblesse, de la même fatigue, qu’ils s’abandonnent sans résistance et laissent se développer indéfiniment tel ou tel groupe de sensations et d’images.

Ecerpt from pages 460-461:
[translation by Google Translate]
Although the field of consciousness is usually quite wide and allows us to unite in a single personal perception a fairly large number of conscious phenomena, there are nevertheless times when it is restricted to the point of putting us in a state analogous to that of the suggestible and hallucinable individual. As the mind goes through a period of natural and inevitable shrinkage, as it disappears into complete sleep, or when it reforms itself after sleep. It is the moment of dreams: each image which is born in isolation in consciousness becomes somewhat precise, not yet enough to manifest itself by a very complete movement in a man who is not accustomed to moving his limbs by images of this kind, but enough to appear outward and objective like hallucinations. No more than the suggestible somnambulist, the dreamer is not surprised, does not doubt what he is thinking; he undergoes without resistance the automatism of the elements to which his mind is reduced. A slight noise, a glow, a fold in the sheet, a state of the body provoke the suggestion; the arrangement of the organs in such or such a manner suitable for expressing an emotion or a passion, gives the dream its general direction, and everything takes place as in a regular automatism. We also have, even during normal wakefulness, psychological phenomena which escape us entirely. One could count, among these acts which take place outside personal perception, the physiological functions of which no one disputes the intelligence, although it is not well understood to which being we must attribute this intelligence of the organs. Perhaps there is, as Liébault said, “an unconscious remembrance for each vital function, the heart has learned to beat and the lungs to breathe [1]”.

[1] Liébault. Du sommeil, 137.

“Perhaps there are in us a great number of spinal or ganglionic souls susceptible of habits and education which direct each physiological function [2].”

[2] Dr Philips. Cours de braidisme, 104.

“There may be in the marrow of man’s backbone real beings of greater spiritual value than the soul of the frog [3].”

[3] Lotze. Psychologie physiologique, 144. – Cf. Lewes, Maine de Biran, Œuvres inédites, II, 13. – Hartmann. Inconscient, I, 75. – Colsenet. Inconscient, 141, etc.

But, although these assumptions appear probable to us, they go far enough beyond the scope of the observations which we have made, that we avoid discussing them in a work of experimental psychology. We will content ourselves with pointing out the more well-known facts which the personal conscience abandons to their automatic development; these are the phenomena of distraction, those of instinct, habit and passion.

[original in French]
Quoique le champ de la conscience soit d’ordinaire assez large et nous permette de réunir dans une même perception personnelle un assez grand nombre de phénomènes conscients, il y a cependant des moments où il se restreint au point de nous mettre dans un état analogue à celui de l’individu suggestible et hallucinable. Au moment de disparaître dans un sommeil complet, ou bien au moment où il se reforme après le sommeil, l’esprit passe par une période de rétrécissement naturel et inévitable. C’est le moment des rêves: chaque image qui naît isolément dans la conscience se précise quelque peu, pas assez encore pour se manifester par un mouvement bien complet chez un homme qui n’est pas accoutumé à remuer ses membres par des images de ce genre, mais suffisamment pour paraître extérieure et objective comme les hallucinations. Pas plus que le somnambule suggestible, le rêveur ne s’étonne, ne doute de ce qu’il pense; il subit sans résistance l’automatisme des éléments auxquels son esprit est réduit. Un léger bruit, une lueur, un pli du drap, un état du corps provoquent la suggestion; la disposition des organes de telle ou telle manière propre à exprimer une émotion ou une passion, donne au rêve sa direction générale, et tout se passe comme dans un automatisme régulier. Nous avons également, même pendant la veille normale, des phénomènes psychologiques qui nous échappent entièrement. On pourrait compter, parmi ces actes qui se passent en dehors de la perception personnelle, les fonctions physiologiques dont personne ne conteste l’intelligence, quoique l’on ne comprenne pas bien à quel être il faut attribuer cette intelligence des organes. Peut-être y a-t-il, comme le disait Liébault, «une remémoration inconsciente pour chaque fonction vitale, le cœur a appris à battre et les poumons à respirer [1]».

[1] Liébault. Du sommeil, 137.

«Peut-être y a-t-il en nous un grand nombre d’âmes spinales ou ganglionnaires susceptibles d’habitudes et d’éducation qui dirigent chaque fonction physiologique [2].»

[2] Dr Philips. Cours de braidisme, 104.

«Il y a peut-être dans la moelle de l’épine dorsale de l’homme des êtres réels d’une plus grande valeur spirituelle que l’âme de la grenouille [3].»

[3] Lotze. Psychologie physiologique, 144. – Cf. Lewes, Maine de Biran, Œuvres inédites, II, 13. – Hartmann. Inconscient, I, 75. – Colsenet. Inconscient, 141, etc.

Mais, quoique ces suppositions nous paraissent vraisemblables, elles dépassent assez la portée des observations que nous avons faites, pour que nous évitions de les discuter dans un ouvrage de psychologie expérimentale. Nous nous contenterons de signaler des faits plus connus que la conscience personnelle abandonne à leur développement automatique, ce sont les phénomènes de la distraction, ceux de l’instinct, de l’habitude et de la passion.

Ecerpt from pages 464-465:
[translation by Google Translate]
The study of habit leads so naturally to the notion of automatic and subconscious acts, that many authors can only describe it by using the hypothesis of two simultaneous personalities. The description given by Condillac is especially interesting for us. “So”, he said, “there are in a way two selves in every man: the usual self and the reflective self; it is the first who touches, who sees, it is he who directs all the animal faculties, his object is to guide the body, to protect it from any accident, to constantly watch over its conservation. The second, leaving him all these details, goes to other objects. He takes care of the care of adding to our happiness, his successes multiplying his desires... This one is held in action by the objects whose impressions reproduce in the soul the ideas, the needs, the desires, which determine in the body of the corresponding movements necessary for the preservation of the animal. He is excited by all things which, by giving us curiosity, lead us to increase our needs. But, although they each tend towards a particular goal, they often act together. When a surveyor, for example, is busy solving a problem, objects still continue to act on his senses. The ego usually obeys their impressions: it is he who crosses Paris, who avoids embarrassment, while the ego of reflection is entirely concerned with the solution that it seeks... needs that are absolutely necessary for the conservation of the animal... The measure of reflection that we have beyond our habits is what constitutes our reason [1].”

[1] Condillac. Traité des animaux. Œuvres complètes, 1798, III, 553.

This description undoubtedly has here only the truth of a metaphor, for the conscious phenomena which develop automatically in habit are not in normal man grouped and synthesized so as to form a second self, as in hemi-somnambulism; but our previous discussions, which it is impossible to resume here, teach us that, despite this exaggeration, there is, in this description, more truth than in the most banal opinion which makes automatic and habitual phenomena simple physiological movements.

[original in French]
L’étude de l’habitude amène si naturellement à la notion des actes automatiques et subconscients, que beaucoup d’auteurs ne peuvent la décrire qu’en se servant de l’hypothèse des deux personnalités simultanées. La description donnée par Condillac est surtout intéressante pour nous. «Ainsi, dit-il, il y a en quelque sorte deux moi dans chaque homme: le moi d’habitude et le moi de réflexion; c’est le premier qui touche, qui voit, c’est lui qui dirige toutes les facultés animales, son objet est de conduire le corps, de le garantir de tout accident, de veiller continuellement à sa conservation. Le second, lui abandonnant tous ces détails, se porte à d’autres objets. Il s’occupe du soin d’ajouter à notre bonheur, ses succès multipliant ses désirs... Celui-là est tenu en action par les objets dont les impressions reproduisent dans l’âme les idées, les besoins, les désirs, qui déterminent dans le corps des mouvements correspondants nécessaires à la conservation de l’animal. Celui-ci est excité par toutes choses qui, en nous donnant de la curiosité, nous portent à multiplier nos besoins. Mais, quoiqu’ils tendent chacun à un but particulier, ils agissent souvent ensemble. Lorsqu’un géomètre, par exemple, est fort occupé de la solution d’un problème, les objets continuent encore d’agir sur ses sens. Le moi d’habitude obéit donc à leurs impressions: c’est lui qui traverse Paris, qui évite les embarras, tandis que le moi de réflexion est tout entier à la solution qu’il cherche... Le moi d’habitude suffit aux besoins qui sont absolument nécessaires à la conservation de l’animal... La mesure de réflexion que nous avons au-delà de nos habitudes est ce qui constitue notre raison [1].»

[1] Condillac. Traité des animaux. Œuvres complètes, 1798, III, 553.

Cette description sans doute n’a ici que la vérité d’une métaphore, car les phénomènes conscients qui se développent automatiquement dans l’habitude ne sont pas chez l’homme normal groupés et synthétisés de manière à former un second moi, comme dans l’hémi-somnambulisme; mais nos discussions précédentes, qu’il est impossible de reprendre ici, nous apprennent que, malgré cette exagération, il y a, dans cette description, plus de vérité que dans l’opinion la plus banale qui fait des phénomènes automatiques et habituels de simples mouvements physiologiques.

Ecerpt from pages 466-467:
[translation by Google Translate]
First, as in any virulent disease, there is an incubation period; the new idea passes over and over again in the vague reveries of the weakened consciousness, then seems, for a few days, to disappear and allow the mind to recover from its temporary disturbance. But it has done underground work, it has become powerful enough to shake the body and cause movements that do not originate in personal consciousness. What is the surprise of a witty man when he finds himself pitifully under the windows of his beauty where his wandering steps have transported him without his suspecting it, when in the middle of his work he hears her mouth whisper always a name always the same! Let us add that every idea brings about expressive modifications throughout the body which are not always appreciable for strangers, but which the tactile and muscular senses transmit to consciousness; what then must be the nervousness of a mind, which feels at every moment its rebellious organism beginning acts which have not been commanded to it! Such is real passion, not idealized by fanciful descriptions, but reduced to its essential psychological characteristics.

[original in French]
Il y a d’abord, comme dans toute maladie virulente, une période d’incubation; l’idée nouvelle passe et repasse dans les rêveries vagues de la conscience affaiblie, puis semble, pendant quelques jours, disparaître et laisser l’esprit se rétablir de son trouble passager. Mais elle a accompli un travail souterrain, elle est devenue assez puissante pour ébranler le corps et provoquer des mouvements dont l’origine n’est pas dans la conscience personnelle. Quelle est la surprise d’un homme d’esprit quand il se retrouve piteusement sous les fenêtres de sa belle où ses pas errants l’ont transporté sans qu’il s’en doute, quand au milieu de son travail il entend sa bouche murmurer sans cesse un nom toujours le même! Ajoutons que toute idée amène des modifications expressives dans tout le corps qui ne sont pas toujours appréciables pour des étrangers, mais que les sens tactiles et musculaires transmettent à la conscience; quel doit être alors l’énervement d’un esprit, qui sent à tout moment son organisme révolté commencer des actes qui ne lui ont pas été commandés! Telle est la passion réelle, non pas idéalisée par des descriptions fantaisistes, mais ramenée à ses caractères psychologiques essentiels.
The Principles of Psychology. Volume 1.
William James
1890
William James is ranked alongside Pierre Janet and Wilhelm Wundt as one of the founding fathers of psychology.

Ecerpt from page 115-116:
In action grown habitual, what instigates each new muscular contraction to take place in its appointed order is not a thought or a perception, but the sensation occasioned by the muscular contraction just finished. A strictly voluntary act has to be guided by idea, perception, and volition, throughout its whole course. In an habitual action, mere sensation is a sufficient guide, and the upper regions of brain and mind are set comparatively free.

Ecerpt from page 206:
It must be admitted, therefore, that in certain persons, at least, the total possible consciousness may be split into parts which coexist but mutually ignore each other, and share the objects of knowledge between them. More remarkable still, they are complementary. Give an object to one of the consciousnesses, and by that fact you remove it from the other or others. Barring a certain common fund of information, like the command of language, etc., what the upper self knows the under self is ignorant of, and vice versa. M. Janet has proved this beautifully in his subject Lucie.
On Double Consciousness. Experimental psychological studies
Alfred Binet
1889-1890

1905
(New Edition)
French psychologist who invented the first practical IQ test, the Binet–Simon test.
The founder of France’s first Laboratory of Experimental Psychology.
He also co-founded the French journal of psychology “L'Année psychologique” (The Psychological Year) serving as the director and editor-in-chief of the journal that was the first scientific journal in this domain.
He sought to establish an objective method of research in psychology.

Ecerpt from page 10:
Proof of double consciousness in hysterical individuals
The psychologists of France, during the past few years, have been diligently at work studying the phenomena of double consciousness and double personality in hysterical individuals. The same problems have also been the subject of numerous investigations in foreign countries, especially in England and in America; and the phenomena of automatic writing, which are now so often described in the scientific periodicals of both the above-mentioned countries, are evidently due to that doubling of personality which is so manifest in a vast number of hysterical people.

Excerpts from pages 10-11:
Before presenting the recent researches that I have made, I believe it profitable first to recapitulate the processes of investigation employed. I may add that the results that I have obtained, have been fully confirmed by the researches of other authors, among whom I shall cite my friend, M. Pierre Janet, who has recently published a very interesting work upon this topic.*
* L'automatisme psychologique. Paris: 1889. F. Alcan.

Ecerpt from page 20:
Automatic writing furnishes the first illustration of the relations between the two consciousnesses. It is a most important phenomenon and is worth the trouble of being carefully studied. An examination of the scientific collections of England and America shows that in those countries the subject is frequently investigated.

Excerpts from pages 25-26:
Automatic writing does not only serve to express sensations perceived by the second consciousness; it is likewise able to express the thoughts that this second consciousness spontaneously combines. Hysterical persons have been found who, when a pen was put into their hands and their attention diverted, began to write, unconsciously, entire well-connected phrases, recitals, confessions, etc. The principal subject the one with whom we communicate by word suspects nothing, and does not see what his anaesthetic hand is doing; it is the second consciousness which employs this mode of expression. I myself have made this experiment upon a subject, and other authors have likewise reported several instances.
The latter form of experiment is evidently the one that approaches nearest to the experiments upon automatic writing which at the present time are being conducted in England and America. They consist in asking a person to place his hand upon a planchette that can serve for the purposes of writing and to remain immovable without thinking of anything. When the subject is nervous it will sometimes happen that the planchette becomes agitated and begins to write thoughts entirely foreign to the subject; the latter remains motionless and has no consciousness of anything. It may be assumed, with great likelihood, that under such conditions an intellectual doubling of the subject takes place, analogous to that which we have observed in our hemi-anaesthetic, hysterical patients. Only, in the case of an hysterical individual, the doubling is easier, in consequence of the insensibility which reigns in a part of the body; it being easily comprehensible that the acts of the second consciousness, produced by preference in the insensible regions, remain unknown to and concealed from the principal consciousness. It may happen, however, with certain nonhysterical subjects that experiments of doubling bring about a transitory anaesthesia, and Mr. W. James has recently observed, that while one of his patients was writing with the planchette he did not feel the painful excitations inflicted upon his arm, whereas the second consciousness perceived them distinctly, and complained of the same by means of the automatic writing.

Excerpts from pages 38-45:
Mechanism or subconsciousness?

In all the experiments that I have hitherto presented, I have supposed in hysterical persons the existence of a double consciousness. This hypothesis possessed the advantage of explaining how it happens that we are able to provoke in the limbs of such individuals various complex movements of adaptation, which are performed without their knowledge; and we, accordingly, proceeded upon the assumption that these movements were regulated by a secondary consciousness, which does not amalgamate with the principal personality.
But the objection has recently been made, that the hypothesis of double consciousness is not necessary, and that we might explain all the experiments in question by presuming that the movements of the insensible members are parcel of that mechanical activity which is constantly seen at work in habit and instinct, and which seems to perform its functions without the aid of consciousness.
This second explanation, at first blush, is so natural, that when I began my researches I did not hesitate to accept it, even contrary to the opinion of my friend M. Pierre Janet, who adopted the hypothesis of subconscious phenomena. But later, according as my observations and experiments became more numerous, I was compelled to abandon the explanation founded upon mechanical acts. This, I admit, cost me a great deal; for it is singular to observe, how, despite ourselves, and the desire of being impartial, we ever reluctantly surrender a first idea. I shall, therefore, essay to recapitulate the facts that have brought about my conviction. Some of these facts are new; but the greater part have already been published by me in the Revue philosophique of February, 1889; and M. Pierre Janet in his recent book on psychological automatism (l’Automatisme psychologique) has added other facts that are highly interesting.
Let us begin with the simplest cases.
We have before us a lady patient, observed in the waking state, whose anaesthetic hand, hidden behind a screen, repeats the movements that it is made to perform; the patient feels nothing, suspects nothing, and believes that her hand is motionless. This repetition of the movement may be regarded as a physiological act devoid of consciousness. Let us complicate slightly the experiment in question. Let us cause the hand to trace the patient's own name, and, in so doing, commit an orthographical error; it frequently happens that the hand, in re-writing the name, hesitates when it reaches the error, or will even correct it. We may still, perhaps, maintain that this is a physiological act devoid of consciousness. But let us continue. There are patients, St. Am for example, whose hand spontaneously finishes the word they are made to trace; thus, I cause the letter d to be written; the hand continues, and writes don; I write pa, and the hand continues and writes pavilion; I write Sal, and the hand writes: Salpêtrière. Is it possible that this is an act destitute of consciousness ? The question, manifestly, is become more doubtful. But there is a more convincing instance still, for the following case is the most curious that has come under my notice. M. Taine was speaking to me one day, in detail, of an observation that he has inserted in the preface to his beautiful book on Intelligence (l’Intelligence). The observation in question relates to a young girl who, at times, would unconsciously seize a pen, and write a whole page, the sense of which she did not understand; this page, always signed by the same
name, (M. Taine told me that it was the name of the girl's governess,) was the expression of mournful ideas and sorrowful reflections upon life. What particularly interested me in the matter of this observation was the fact, that I myself, in an observation of my own, have obtained an entirely analogous result, and M. Pierre Janet, likewise, has gotten five or six more. The lady patient, whom I observed, was an hysterical subject, whose right arm was totally insensible. On certain days, when a pen was put into her right hand behind a screen, the hand in question, without further solicitation, would begin to write connected phrases, to which the mind of the patient remained wholly foreign, for while her hand was writing, the patient would be chatting with us about something entirely different. Concerning the explanation of these last facts, the slightest doubt no longer seems permissible; and it is likewise certain that authors who have gathered equally complicated observations, have not hesitated in regard to the manner in which they are to be explained.
In fine, we behold, in this instance, the writing of the anaesthetic hand become the secretary of a complete personality, endowed with its own exclusive ideas, and its own emotions. M. Taine, without the thought of an objection, admits that these facts are explained by the existence of two personalities in juxtaposition.
I well know that a skeptic could always maintain that the second personality, revealed in our experiments, is a personality destitute of consciousness. I am, indeed, unable to furnish the material proof to convince such a skeptic that he is mistaken. The question of consciousness, as in a future article I shall have occasion fully to demonstrate, is one of the most delicate problems that a psychologist could undertake to solve. Upon the whole, however, it seems to me that there is a great probability in favor of the acceptance of the element of consciousness in such complex psychic manifestations as those I have just cited.
M. Pierre Janet has added to the subject in question a further argument, that ought to be regarded as convincing. How are we led to recognize, he asks, the existence of consciousness in another individual? When we find, for example, that the individual utters connected words, conveying sense. But, if the word is one mode of expression of conscious thought, writing must be regarded as another, equally complex, or even more so; and we are unable to understand why writing should not prove as much as the spoken word.
Moreover, in order to render this demonstration perfectly convincing, we will say, that there are patients in whom this second personality speaks, even in the state of wake. Here, at least if I consult my own experience, we have to do with entirely exceptional cases. Thus, I have seen three patients who, when we slightly pricked their insensible member, suddenly would complain in a loud voice, crying: “You hurt me !” It was the second personality that spoke, for if we addressed the patient directly and called her by her own name, she would invariably declare that she had said nothing. I did not follow out the study of these curious phenomena, because at the beginning of my researches I did not know whether they were real or simulated. But M. Pierre Janet has observed similar ones under circumstances so precise, that now I no longer doubt their exactitude.
Here, accordingly, the second personality of the hysterical patient not only writes of its own accord, but speaks even. Shall we still maintain that this is an unconscious personality?
But this is not all. We know of even more convincing facts. We know of observations, in which this second personality, ever awake, is seen gradually to develop more and more, and to assume the initiative in conduct, instead of the first personality, which is temporarily annihilated. Such is the case of Felida, the interesting patient whose history M. Azam reported twenty years ago, which people at that epoch could not have been expected to understand, but at the present time is perfectly elucidated by all the data which in an abridged form we are placing before the reader. With Felida there occurred certain critical periods, as the effect of which her character would completely change and a part of her recollections would disappear; she passed into a new state into her second condition, as M. Azam called it; this second condition, which would last weeks and even months, was connected by memory with her previous “second” conditions. Thus she would remember persons, whom she had seen in former “second” conditions, but she did not remember those whom she had seen in the intervals. Thus there was developed within the patient a real double personality, not co-existent, but successive.
The facts above set forth have led me to the assumption that there may exist in hysterical patients two rational faculties, that are mutually ignorant of each other. I do not regard this as a simple hypothesis; it is an induction, in my opinion perfectly legitimate.
To me it seems difficult, upon the occasion of every case examined and every movement produced in the anaesthetic member, to declare whether the movement in question is accompanied by consciousness; the criterion which we employ is too uncertain to be everywhere applied with infallibility. But I believe it satisfactorily established in a general way, that two states of consciousness, not known to each other, can co-exist in the mind of an hysterical patient.*
* I cannot adduce here all the arguments upon which my position is based. I shall only refer, in this note, to the interesting researches of M. Pierre Janet upon “systematic anaesthesia”.

We discover at once the psychological conclusion to be drawn from the preceding experiments; namely, that the limits of introspection are not those of consciousness; and that where we have not consciousness, there is not necessarily unconsciousness. Such are the very important and very curious facts that to me seem destined to reconstruct the theory of the unconscious.

The graphic method and the doubling of consciousness

Psychologists, in the last few years, have come by many different ways to establish the fact that in hysterical patients a plurality of persons exists. The curious observation, for example, of Doctor Azam, of Bordeaux, may be recalled, where a young woman, by the name of Felida, manifestly hysterical, presented two successive lives in which she possessed neither the same character nor had the same recollections.*
*Azam, Double Conscience, etc.: J. B. Baillière, Paris.

Azam's observation does not stand alone. There are others recorded, very many in fact, of the same kind; as for instance that of Doctor Dufay. In his “Diseases of Personality”, M. Ribot has given a complete history of this interesting question.
The experiments that we presented in a former series of articles on this subject, and the similar experiments of M. Pierre Janet, accordingly, set forth nothing new. We have simply found a method of revealing in the majority of persons afflicted with hysteria those remarkable phenomena of duplication which hitherto seemed somewhat exceptional. We have established, almost with certainty in fact, that in such subjects there exists side by side with the principal personality a secondary personality, which is unknown by the first, which sees, hears, reflects, reasons, and acts.

Excerpt from pages 74-75:
M. Pierre Janet, whom I have frequently cited for he has pushed his investigations very far upon this particular question and his conclusions often coincide with my own has discovered an interesting method of utilizing this especial suggestibility produced by the division of consciousness. Although 1 have no inclination, on this occasion, to occupy myself with anything that relates to the practice of medicine, I may nevertheless point out that our researches in the province of psychology may in case of necessity possess a very great advantage for patients and contribute greatly to the treatment of their diseases.
Up to this point I have investigated only that division of consciousness that is spontaneous, that preexists in subjects before any sort of experiment is instituted. M. Janet has invented an ingenious means of effecting an artificial division; it consists in distracting the attention of the subject while some one is talking to him. For example, we take advantage of a moment when the subject is chatting with some other person, or is absorbed perhaps in a fascinating book, to talk to him in a low voice; whereupon a mental bipartition is produced; one part of the subject's mind is conversing with the first-mentioned person, and another part with the second. Two distinct consciousnesses are thus formed, and each one is wholly occupied with the task before it. The suggestions that can be induced in this manner in a subject divided by distraction, are much more efficacious than direct suggestions; they have, in addition, the advantage of being capable of accomplishment without it being necessary to put the subject to sleep, and we warmly recommend this class to all those who seek to alleviate the diseases of hysterical patients.
The Double Ego

(German “Das Doppel-Ich”)
Max Dessoir
(full name: Maximilian Dessoir)
1890
Max Dessoir was a German philosopher, psychologist and theorist of aesthetics.
An associate of Pierre Janet and Sigmund Freud.
In his book “The Double Ego”, Max Dessoir developed dipsychism theory in which he described the mind as divided into two layers, each with its own associative links and its own chain of memory. Dessoir called them “upper consciousness” (Oberbewusstsein) and “under consciousness” (Unterbewusstsein). He considered that the “underconsciousness” (Unterbewusstein) emerges in such phenomena as dreams, hypnosis and dual personality.
Max Dessoir is the founder of a critical analysis of parapsychological phenomena. He was a member of the “Society for Psychical Research”. He was highly skeptical of physical mediumship.
Since 1885, he began systematic observations of mediums.
Based on these observations, in his book “The beyond of the soul: occult sciences critically examined” he made general conclusions that parapsychological phenomena are based on the concept of the subconscious.
In year 1889 Dessoir coined the term “parapsychology”.

Excerpts from pages 5-6:
[translation by Google Translate]
Now awareness and memory are the two elements of personality. If one considers the ego from the point of view of momentary existence, then it can be defined as the sum of present states of consciousness; if one emphasizes the continuity with one’s own past, then it is formed by memory. The idea of a unified ego would therefore presuppose, first, that all of the psychic processes combined from feeling, thinking, and willing lie in the focus of waking consciousness; However, the opposite seems to result from the phenomena described in the ordinary life of healthy people. In my opinion, it follows from them that our personality is composed of two more or less independently operating halves of the consciousness, which one could figuratively call the upper and subconscious. I am not thinking of some kind of geological layers in the brain, but rather choose the naming as an easily understandable picture that I am willing to give up for a more apt one.(1)

(1) The concepts of an illuminated and an unlit side of the soul, proposed by Drossbach, should not be recommended because it requires an “apparatus of illumination” for the existence of which no proof can be provided, apart from the counter-reasons of the law salutary (Latin: lex parcimoniae). Cf. Drossbach, Die Genesis des Bewufstseins nach atomistischen Prinzipien (The Genesis of Consciousness According to Atomistic Principles), pp. 144 and 180. Leipzig, 1860.

The hypothesis of double consciousness is difficult in normal psychology primarily for three reasons. First and foremost, the concept of our personality is consistently uniform, and one tends to take the idea of oneself as the adequate expression of the facts. We believe we are one because we feel we are one. But here, too, one must be careful not to confuse the natural conception of a thing with the thing itself. Secondly, this is linked to the endeavors of many philosophical psychologists to reduce all given diversity to schematic units, or, as Lewes mockingly calls it: the incurable addiction to personify invented abstractions. Thirdly, there is the circumstance that the sum of mental processes in the body organism is combined into a physiological individual unit. But the assumption that two separate series of states of consciousness – localized, say, in different nerve centers – go side by side in a cell unit is not refuted by anything; on the contrary, it is even supported by the law of dynamic associations.
I will summarize again briefly. – In the course of ordinary life, actions take place which require all abilities of the human soul to develop and yet take place without the knowledge of the individual. Your name is automatic. There are thus automatic movements (getting dressed, walking a distance) and other automatic activities (counting steps, adding numbers). With the latter, the existence of a separate memory is clearly evident. They too take place without knowledge of the person, but not without consciousness, not “unconsciously”. They belong to a certain extent to a subconscious, which, in addition to the far more powerful upper consciousness, is only given due consideration in the assumption of a double consciousness. Therefore, if one sees the essential components of an ego in consciousness and memory, then one can cheekily say: every person harbors the germs of a second personality.


[original in German]
Nun sind Bewufstsein und Erinnerung die beiden Elemente der Persönlichkeit. Betrachtet man nämlich das Ich unter dem Gesichtspunkt augenblicklicher Existenz, so läfst es sich als die Summe gegenwärtiger Bewufstseinszustände definieren, betont man die Kontinuität mit der eigenen Vergangenheit, so ist es durch das Gedächtnis gebildet. Die Vorstellung eines einheitlichen Ichs würde also voraussetzen erstens, dafs die gesamten aus Empfinden, Denken, Wollen vereinigten psychischen Prozesse im Blickpunkte des Wachbewufstseins lägen, zweitens, dafs sämtliche Reproduktionsvorgänge zur Kenntnis des Individuums gelangten. Aus den geschilderten Phänomenen im gewöhnlichen Leben des gesunden Menschen scheint sich jedoch das Gegenteil zu ergeben. Es folgt m. E. aus ihnen die Zusammengesetztheit unserer Persönlichkeit aus zwei mehr oder minder unabhängig von einander operierenden Bewufstseinshälften, die man bildlich als Ober– und Unterbewufstsein bezeichnen könnte. Ich denke dabei nicht an eine Art geologischer Schichten im Gehirn, sondern wähle die Benennung blofs als ein leichtverständliches Bild, das ich gern gegen ein treffenderes aufzugeben bereit bin.(1)

(1) Die von Drossbach gewählte Versinnlichung einer beleuchteten und einer unbeleuchteten Seelenseite dürfte sich nicht empfehlen, weil sie einen »Beleuchtungsapparat« erfordert, für dessen Existenz, kein Beweis zu erbringen ist, abgesehen von den Gegengründen der lex parcimoniae. Vgl. Drossbach, Die Genesis des Bewufstseins nach atomistischen Prinzipien, S. 144 u. S. 180. Leipzig, 1860.

Die Hypothese des Doppelbewufstseins fällt der Normal–Psychologie vornehmlich aus drei Gründen schwer. Zuvörderst ist der Begriff unserer Persönlichkeit ein durchweg einheitlicher und man neigt leicht dazu, die Vorstellung von sich selbst für den adäquaten Ausdruck des Thatbestandes zu halten. Wir glauben eins zu sein, weil wir uns als eins fühlen. Aber auch hier muss man sich davor hüten, die natürliche Auffassung von einer Sache mit der Sache selbst zu verwechseln. Damit verknüpft sich an zweiter Stelle das Bestreben vieler philosophischen Psychologen, alle gegebene Mannigfaltigkeit auf schematische Einheiten zurückzuführen, oder, wie Lewes es spöttisch nennt: die unheilbare Sucht, erfundene Abstraktionen zu personifizieren. Zudritt kommt der Umstand in Betracht, dafs die Summe seelischer Vorgänge in dem Körperorganismus zu einer physiologischen Individualeinheit verbunden ist. Aber die Annahme, dafs in einer Zelleneinheit zwei getrennte Reihen von Bewufstseinszuständen – etwa in verschiedenen Nervenzentren lokalisiert — neben– einander hergehen, wird durch nichts widerlegt, im Gegenteil sogar unterstützt durch das Gesetz der dynamischen Assoziationen.
Ich fasse noch einmal kurz zusammen. — Es geschehen im Verlauf des gewöhnlichen Lebens Handlungen, welche zu ihrer Entstehung alle Fähigkeiten der menschlichen Seele voraussetzen und trotzdem sich ohne Wissen des Individuums abspielen. Sie heifsen automatisch. Es giebt somit automatische Bewegungen (sich anziehen, einen Weg zurücklegen) und andere automatische Thätigkeiten (Schritte zählen, Zahlen addieren). Bei den letzteren tritt die Existenz eines gesonderten Gedächtnisses deutlich zu Tage. Auch sie finden ohne Kenntnis der Person, aber nicht ohne Bewufstsein, nicht »unbewufst« statt. Sie gehören gewissermafsen einem Unterbewufstsein an, das neben dem weitaus mächtigeren Oberbewufstsein erst in der Annahme eines Doppelbewufstseins die gebührende Berücksichtigung erfährt. Erblickt man daher in Bewufstsein und Erinnerung die wesentlichen Bestandteile eines Ich, so darf man kecklich sagen: jeder Mensch birgt in sich die Keime einer zweiten Persönlichkeit.
The Mental State of Hystericals; A Study of Mental Stigmata and Mental Accidents

(French “État mental des hysteriques: les stigmates mentaux”)
Pierre Janet
(full name: Pierre Marie Félix Janet)
1892

1894

1901
(English translation)

1911
(Second Edition)
Excerpts below are taken from 1901 year English translation.

Excerpt from pages 35-44:
This operation of assimilation and synthesis is repeated with every sensation which is born in us, and there are born in us every moment a quantity in the wake of all those thousand impressions which our senses incessantly receive. We may, then, represent to ourselves what is commonly called sensibility as a twofold operation. First, there is produced in the mind, in the cortical cells of the brain, if we may so speak, a very large number of small, elementary, psychological phenomena, the results of the innumerable external excitations. These are phenomena due to the tactile sense T T' T" (Fig. 2), to the muscular sense M M' M", to the visual sense V V' V", to the auditive sense A A' A", just to take these as examples. You may call these phenomena what you like, elementary sensations, affective states, [1] to employ the expression of a celebrated French psychologist, M. Maine de Biran, or simply subconscious phenomena.

[1] Maine de Biran, “Essai sur les fondements de la psychologie,” Œuvres inédites, 1859, ii., pp. 11, 19.

The Mental State of Hystericals. Fig. 2
Fig. 2.

The only thing which characterises them essentially is that they are simple psychological phenomena, isolated, without intervention of the idea of personality. Secondly, there takes place a reunion, a synthesis of all these elementary phenomena, which are combined among themselves and particularly combined with the vast and prior notion of personality. It is only after this sort of assimilation that we can truly say, “I feel.” We formerly proposed to designate this new operation by the name of personal perception, P P; for it is indeed a perception — that is to say, a clearer and more complex consciousness; the word “personal” will prevent confounding this operation with the outward perception, of which we do not treat here, and will recall to mind that its essential character is the addition of the notion of personality.
The description and the schema which we have just studied are evidently theoretical, and can be applied to an ideal man only and not to a real man. No man, in fact, is capable of bringing thus together at each instant, in one and the same personal perception, all the elementary sensations which are born within him from all sides. With the best-constituted man there must exist a crowd of elementary sensations produced by the first operation which escape the second. These phenomena, such as T or M, in Fig. 3, remain what they are — namely, subconscious sensations, real, without doubt, and able to play a considerable role in the psychological life of the individual; but they are not transformed into personal perceptions and do not become a part of the personality.

The Mental State of Hystericals. Fig. 3
Fig. 3.

The person, the “I,” will then say, “I feel,” in regard to the phenomena V or A of which he takes hold and which he perceives, but he will not appreciate the existence of T or of M, and will say in regard to them, “I have not felt anything.” What is the normal number of phenomena, of elementary sensations which a man may thus gather into a personal perception? may be asked. We do not know, but we believe it very variable, according to a thousand circumstances, and we proposed [1] calling extent of the field of consciousness, the maximum number of such phenomena which an individual may, at a given moment, assimilate, and of which he may at that moment have a personal perception.

[1] On the theory of the field of consciousness, cf. Autom. psych., p. 190, and on its narrowing, p. 306. This last characteristic of the narrowing of the field of consciousness is extremely important; it is not only found in anesthesia, but it is an integral part of all other symptoms of hysteria. It is therefore impossible to study it completely in this first chapter; we are obliged to reject this question after examining the particular phenomena. The description of this narrowing of the mind and the study of the exhaustion which seems to produce it will be made at the end of the second volume of this work.

Let us suppose an individual who at each moment cannot perceive more than three elementary sensations, such as V V A, and who leaves all the rest in subconsciousness. There will then be in his mind, it would seem, a considerable void. Not, indeed, necessarily; for in the next instant he can easily, by directing his attention elsewhere, have the perception of those tactile sensations which he had left aside, and, in a third moment, he can form even a personal perception with muscular sensations, M. For instance, at the first moment, he will look at a person who is speaking to him and listen, without caring for the tactile sensations that continue to assail him. At the second moment, he will look at an object, touching it, and this time will appreciate the contact without being conscious of surrounding noises. At the third moment, he will write under dictation, having the perception of the sound of the voice, of the sight of the letters, and muscular movements. In a case of this kind, thanks to the alternating perception, there are no real anaesthesias. If we examine successively each sense, calling the subject’s attention to it, we shall see that this person can have the perception of all the impressions.
This individual, although he may already have the field of consciousness contracted, is not an anaesthetic, but one absent-minded, and this study tries to represent what is called normal absent-mindedness.
Let us go a little farther, and we shall have the theoretical representation of anaesthesia. Suppose that the field of consciousness contracts still more. The patient (Fig. 4) can no longer perceive more than two elementary sensations at once.

The Mental State of Hystericals. Fig. 4
Fig. 4.

Out of necessity, even, he reserves this small share of perception for the sensations which seem to him, whether right or wrong, the most important, the sensations of sight and hearing. To have consciousness of what is seen and heard is of paramount necessity, and he neglects to perceive the tactile and muscular sensations, thinking he can do without them. At the outset, he might perhaps still turn to them and take them into his field of personal perception, at least for a moment; but, the chance not presenting itself, the bad psychological habit is slowly formed. Nothing is more serious, more obstinate than these moral habits. There is a crowd of maladies that are only psychological tics. One day the patient — for he has truly become one now — is examined by the physician. He pinches his left arm and asks him if he feels it, and the patient, to his great surprise, is obliged to confess that he can no longer feel consciously. The too-long neglected sensations have escaped his personal perception; he has become anaesthetic.
Absent-mindedness, in a word, has been transformed into anaesthesia for two reasons: (1) because the habit the patient has contracted renders difficult the modifications of personal perception, which always tends in the same direction; (2) because the contraction of the field of consciousness is such that it does not need a strong and obsessing image to fill it, it being ever too small to perceive all sensations at once. Here, then, we have a new formula more precise than the foregoing. Anaesthesia is an extended and chronic absent-mindedness, which prevents those subject to it from connecting certain sensations with their personality; it is a contraction of the field of consciousness.

Excerpt from page 226:
Many philosophers, and most of the former magnetisers, among whom we find observers of great merit, have very well pointed out this preponderance of certain ideas, mentioned above. We cannot repeat here the descriptions of the Puyséegurs, the Deleuzes, the Braids, the Charpignons, etc., nor take up again the history of suggestion which we have already given elsewhere [1]; it will be enough to repeat the conclusion: “All the phenomena, without exception, pointed out as new in the works of modern hypnotism, can be found in the numerous examples given by the French hypnotists, especially in those published between 1850 and 1870.”

[1] Automatisme psychologique, 1889, pp. 141, 245, 271.

Excerpt from pages 259-261:
We have been obliged to admit that there are two categories of psychological phenomena and two ways of understanding the word “consciousness”: first, the elementary psychological phenomena T T' T" . . . (Figure 8) in the scale already studied, real phenomena, playing their psychological part, conscious perhaps within themselves in a very rudimentary fashion, but isolated from each other and the superior psychological phenomena; and, secondly, personal perception, P P, which consists essentially in synthesising these elementary facts and connecting them with the former notion of personality.

The Mental State of Hystericals. Fig. 8
Figure 8.

This last operation, this personal perception is reduced with the hysterical patient; he can no longer synthesise more than a few elementary facts: VV", A A', for instance. What is to become of these other facts, T T' M ... , which nevertheless exist ? It is incontestable that they remain often isolated, in a state of mental dust, without playing any important part. But the facts described before oblige us to admit that, in certain cases, these phenomena may also be grouped among themselves, and form in a P' a partial synthesis more or less coherent, which will unite T' M' A". This partial synthesis represents what we have described under the name of subconscious act.
Before drawing the conclusions of this study, we must point out a certain number of complex facts, the knowledge of which is indispensable to an understanding of suggestion and its effect on feeble minds. Up to this time we have studied only simple cases, in which the separation between conscious phenomena and subconscious phenomena was perfectly clear. It is, however, not always so; we may very often show actions and reciprocal reactions of these two groups of phenomena one over the other. Such a dependency seems at first sight hardly intelligible; how can these two phenomena, T' and V, for example, depend one upon the other, associate one with the other, since we have proved that they were isolated, that they belonged to two groups of different thoughts? It is because there is to be made here one more distinction: all the reunions, all the groupings of psychological phenomena, are not of the same order.

Excerpt from pages 266-267:
One word then can sum up these two studies: suggestion is always an idea isolated from the great mass of the other thoughts; it has an independent development. “The suggested idea or group of ideas,” said M. Charcot, very justly, “find themselves in their isolation sheltered against the control of that great collection of personal ideas, a long time accumulated and organised, which constitute consciousness properly so called, the Ego.” [1]

[1] Charcot, Mai. du système nerv., iii., p. 337.

“With certain subjects it is possible to call forth, by means of suggestion or intimation, a coherent group of associated ideas which install themselves in the mind in the fashion of a parasite, remain isolated from all the rest, and may be explained outwardly by corresponding motor phenomena.” “We ask permission to preserve this striking metaphor: Suggestions, with their automatic and independent development, are real parasites in thought.

Excerpt from page 278:
Chapter II
Fixed Ideas
The study of suggestion has shown us that the thoughts of hystericals are not equilibrated; that under diverse influences one of them may develop to an extreme extent and live, so to say, isolated, its own life, to the great detriment of the mental organism. This tendency is not only manifested in artificial experiments; it continually gives place to natural phenomena, which are quite analogous to suggestions. Fixed ideas are for us phenomena of this kind; that is to say, psychological phenomena which are developed in the mind in an automatic manner, outside the will and the personal perception of the patient, but which, instead of being, like suggestions, experimentally called forth, are formed naturally under the influence of accidental causes. This difference in the artificial or natural provocation of automatic phenomena has, from a clinical and especially therapeutic point of view, quite grave consequences to justify this distinction. Ideas of this kind have been described at length in the case of patients considered as lunatics. They went under the name of obsessions, impulsions, phobias; they characterise the delirium which develops with some neurasthenics or, as they are often called in France, certain degenerates. We shall repeat here what we have already said in speaking of abulias.[1]

[1] Stigmates mentaux de I‘hystérie, p. 122.

Excerpt from pages 280-282:
We think that it is necessary to admit the existence of a particular form of fixed ideas peculiar to hystericals, which we would designate as subconscious fixed ideas. The word “consciousness,” when applied to fixed ideas and deliriums, has sometimes taken, in the language of alienists, a particular meaning. It means that the subject is aware of his delirium, — recognises its being false. An unconscious delirium is, on the contrary, a delirium to which the patient abandons himself without judging it, and which he accepts as true. We are sorry that we cannot accept this meaning, in reality incorrect, of the word “consciousness,” for we have been obliged to use these terms in another sense. A fixed idea, like any kind of psychological phenomena whatever, is conscious, not when it is judged, but simply when it is known by the subject, and it is in this sense that the fixed ideas of those under so-called obsession may be said to be conscious. We believe that it is extremely important, in order to understand hystericals, to know that with them fixed ideas may lose this character and present themselves under the aspect of subconscious phenomena.
How can the existence of an idea, the definition of which is not known to the patient and cannot be expressed, be clearly demonstrated ? We must have recourse to all the processes of observation which the experiments on subconscious acts have brought to our knowledge. Subconscious phenomena are manifested, as we have seen, in various ways: it will be the same for subconscious fixed ideas. 1st. These ideas may develop completely during attacks of hysteria and express themselves then by acts and words. 2nd. In dreams more or less agitated which take place during sleep and natural somnambulisms and which often happen unexpectedly; it is at such moments that fixed ideas are wholly confessed. 3rd. One of the best processes consists in causing the patient to enter artificially into a state similar to the preceding ones — namely, an imposed somnambulism. At one time, abandoned to himself in this artificial condition, he has dreams which he expresses aloud; he gives himself up to acts as in a natural somnambulism, and reveals his thoughts; at another time he talks to us, answers our questions. It is astonishing to see how subjects during their somnambulism find again with precision and clearness recollections, ideas, of which they had no consciousness during their waking state. They explain then most accurately the idea that besets them and give a detailed account of all the sensations, of all the images which have determined and still determine the accidents. 4th. It is known that subconscious thoughts may be manifested even during the waking hours of the patients and without their knowing it. Certain acts which they perform automatically when they are vacant in mind enable us to guess these ideas. But when it is possible to employ it, the process, which consists in utilising automatic writing, is more exact than all the others. It is useless to go back to the description of this writing discovered by the spiritualists; if it has to-day no longer the religious character the disciples of Allan Kardec assigned to it, it may in many circumstances subserve a medical purpose. Let us also point out a process, less known, which, in very particular cases, may also serve to bring to light subconscious ideas: the process of “crystal gazing,” described especially by English authors. Many patients, hystericals almost always, we think, cannot look fixedly upon a moderately shiny surface without having indubitable hallucinations. They see their own dreams filing off in the mirror, and sometimes they thus happen to perceive and express ideas they could not account for previously. Such are the processes, still very imperfect, which permit us to penetrate a little deeper into the minds of patients.

Excerpt from pages 381-382:
We have also observed that these patients preserved not only their consciousness, but even the remembrance, and a quite exact remembrance, of their attack. Renee, in particular, was very curious on this point. At the most violent moment of the attack, she could interrupt her tantrums and abuse, and say to us, in an altogether proper tone, “I beg of you, do stay; it will be over in a minute,” and right upon this she would begin to abuse us anew. This has naturally given place to the charge of simulation. The patients themselves are taken in by it, and Renée said once, crying: “People must think that I do it on purpose; it makes me very miserable, for it is not so; I have a horror of such things. “Where is the truth? This half-consciousness is undoubtedly due to the fact that automatic phenomena are very simple. Just a few motions, — always the same, — a few cries, and none of those great complex emotions, those vast dreams which invade the whole mind. The patient is, so to say, the spectator of his gesticulations just as the medium looks at his hand writing involuntarily.
The point here again is, in fact, fixed ideas developing themselves outside the patients’ will. All these tics have an origin, and reproduce an incident of their past life. Renée mews like the little cat which came one day innocently to lick the end of her fingers; she barks like her father’s dog, — “a big, ugly dog, which everybody fondled at home and which gave her the horrors,” She imitates the voice of a little idiot, the boy of the pastry-cook, whom she saw in the streets; when she raises her arm straight up it is to take the attitude of “Truth,” in M. Jules Lefevre’s picture, which she saw in her room. We formerly said [1] that we had tried to find examples of hystericals posing in their crises as in pictures, and could not find any. We were fortunate to obtain this observation in M. Charcot’s service. This curious attitude was already assumed by Renee in her crises long before she came to the hospital. It is easy to find an origin of this kind for all her strange movements.

[1] Autom. Psych., p. 52.

The subconscious character is also quite evident. The patients establish their movements, and can neither stop them, nor modify them, nor even foresee them. We have noticed that Renée catches every instant a new tic and repeats in her attacks either an expression or a gesture of one of the patients of the room. We have tried ourselves to suggest gestures to her, tics to take the place of the old ones and modify them. It was at first quite impossible to succeed. We could not by turning to her directly, but succeeded quite well by employing the method we have often described — namely, suggestion by means of distraction. The suggestion had to take place without her suspecting it, while she talked with other people. We thus whispered into her ear the word “baby,” which she had never said and which she has since repeated in all her attacks. We made her thus modify her various movements, etc. The character of such suggestions, which have been studied experimentally, permits us to understand the nature of the attacks which resemble them.

Excerpt from page 409:
Not only does the fixed idea require no attention or intellectual effort to develop, but it cannot develop unless the attention and will are very greatly reduced. All physical or moral fatigue which diminishes the power of psychological synthesis, favours those accidents due to fixed ideas. When Vel. is sick with a little attack of cholerine, his nose-tics, which had disappeared, return. When Lee. quarrels with her husband, she is taken again by her chorea on the right side. Maria is pursued by the idea of drinking ether at the moment of her menses; and Justine, tired out at the laundry with the family wash, is again a prey to her idea of cholera. Better still, this remark explains to us how certain fixed ideas seem to start up long after the provocative accident.

Excerpt from pages 410-412:
One way or the other, the fixed ideas remain outside the normal consciousness. At one time they develop simultaneously below this consciousness; at another they develop in a nervous state, which takes the place of the ordinary consciousness and alternates with it. If sometimes an obsessing idea, an hallucination, say, appears to be well known by the subject, it generally depends on a more complicated dream which he does not know.
<....>
The fixed idea, at first conscious, has formed an hysterical attack and remains now in a greater or less degree subconscious. It is true that in certain rare cases the fixed idea, which has been for some time subconscious, may regain consciousness and induce deliriums, which we shall study later. But these are rare accidents, which hardly belong" to hysteria proper.
Finally, this subconscious character of the fixed ideas with hystericals plays a great part in the therapeutics of these affections. We formerly showed that it was necessary to look up, so to say, these subconscious phenomena in order to attack them, and that one could not treat the hysterical accident before having reached those deep layers of thought within which the fixed idea was concealed. We are happy to see to-day MM. Breuer and Freud express the same idea. “It is necessary,” they say, “to make this provocative event self-conscious; bring it forth to the full light. The accidents disappear when the subject realises those fixed ideas.” [1]

[1] Breuer et Freud, op. cit., p. 4.

We do not believe that the cure is so easy as that, and that it suffices to bring the fixed idea to an expression to carry it off. The treatment is unfortunately of a much more delicate nature, but, in any case, it is certain that this discovery of the subconscious phenomena is an indispensable preliminary.
In a word, the fixed ideas of the hystericals present to the highest degree the characteristics of psychological automatism: regularity, repetition of the past, and subconsciousness. They are the same characteristics which have already been established in suggestions. Fixed ideas are phenomena of the same kind, which develop in the same manner in minds of weakened synthesis. Both indicate a division of the phenomena of consciousness which we shall see completely manifested in somnambulisms.

Excerpt from pages 414-415:
Somnambulism has no characteristics of its own; it is simply an abnormal state, distinct from the normal life of the subject. Given a person who can be examined only at a certain moment of her life, it is impossible to determine in what state she happens to be. Lucy, M., Bertha, and many others may be examined during their somnambulism without anyone's being able to say what state they are in. In order to recognise it, it is necessary to be able to compare their state with their normal life and prove that there is in these two periods another repartition, another equilibrium of the psychological phenomena. Somnambulism is a second existence which has no other general characteristic.
This difference between the two states may be very broad and easily noted. Certain anaesthetic subjects, paralytic, contractured when awake, have no trace whatever left of their malady in somnambulism, but these cases are rare and the psychological difference is generally slight. It would be very difficult to appreciate and would mostly be passed by unperceived, if it did not bring with it a very apparent psychological phenomenon. Memory is a delicate faculty which is disturbed by even slight modifications of consciousness hardly perceptible. This difference of the two psychological states is enough to provoke a scission in the continuity of the recollections — at least of the reasonable and personal recollections. On awakening from the second state, the patient cannot recall the events that have taken place during that period; he cannot recover those recollections unless he re-enters the state that has given them birth. The modifications of the psychological states, though real, do not deserve the name of somnambulisms, so long as they are not strong enough to bring about naturally this disturbance of the memory; and we reserve the name somnambulism for states in which the subject possesses particular recollections which he finds no longer when he returns to his normal state

Excerpt from pages 436-437:
One of the essential phenomena of somnambulism is forgetfulness on waking. This amnesia, we must remember, is of the same nature as all the other hysterical amnesias already described. Neither the preservation nor the reproduction of the images has disappeared; the question still is the disturbance of personal perception. The subject is incapable of connecting with his present personality the recollection of the somnambulic state; this is the essential factor. We have already seen how these disturbances in perception are analogous to diversions of attention; it needs sometimes but a suggestion, a slight effort of attention, for certain recollections of the somnambulism to be momentarily recovered. We have also seen how these disturbances depend on a permanent retraction of the field of consciousness and on an enfeeblement of the psychological synthesis.[1]

[1] Stigmates mentaux des hystériques, p. 91, above.

What we must study here is the particular localisation of this amnesia. Why does the subject forget regularly certain periods of his life, while he retains quite well the recollection of others? We believe, moreover, as we have at length previously maintained, that we may give a general answer to this query. Somnambulism is forgotten because it is composed of psychological phenomena connected by association, collected around certain sensations, certain ideas even, which the subject can no longer perceive.

Excerpt from page 496
“This division of the consciousness which has been clearly established in some celebrated cases of double existence, exists in a rudimentary state in every hysterical; the disposition to this dissociation and at the same time to the formation of abnormal states of consciousness, which we propose to bring together under the name of hypnoid states, constitutes the fundamental phenomenon of this neurosis.”[1]

[1] Josef Breuer and Sigm. Freud, p, 7. The authors add, p. 4, but not in so many words, that these ideas come also nearer those of Benedikt. We regret not to be acquainted with that work.

This definition goes to confirm those which we have already given, which seek to group all the symptoms of the disease around a principal phenomenon, the undoubling of the personality.

Excerpt from pages 527-528:
The word “hysteria” should be preserved, although its primitive meaning has much changed. It would be very difficult to modify it nowadays,[1] and, truly, it has so great and so beautiful a history that it would be painful to give it up; but since every epoch has given it a different meaning, let us try to find out what meaning it has to-day. In order to try to summarise what we have borrowed from all these recent studies concerning hysteria, it is sufficient to gather up the conclusions of our foregoing paragraphs.

[1] Mœbius. op. cit.

Hysteria, — we can say, — is a mental disease belonging to the large group of the diseases due to weakness, to cerebral exhaustion; it has only rather vague physical symptoms, consisting especially in a general diminution of nutrition; it is above all characterised by moral symptoms, the principal one being a weakening of the faculty of psychological synthesis, an abulia, a contraction of the field of consciousness manifesting itself in a particular way; a certain number of elementary phenomena, sensations and images, cease to be perceived and appear suppressed by the personal perception; the result is a tendency to a complete and permanent division of the personality, to the formation of several groups independent of each other; these systems of psychological factors alternate some in the wake of the others or coexist; in fine, this lack of synthesisfavours the formation of certain parasitic ideas which develop completely and in isolation under the shelter of the control of the personal consciousness and which manifest themselves by the most varied disturbances, apparently only physical.

If we would sum up in two words this rather complex definition, we should say:
Hysteria is a form of mental disintegration characterised by a tendency toward the permanent and complete undoubling (dédoublement) of the personality.

Permit us, in closing, to repeat what we have said at the outset. A definition of this kind does not pretend to explain phenomena, but simply to summarise the greatest possible number of them. It will soon, we hope, be superseded by a more comprehensive definition, one that will contain all the preceding facts and add to them still more phenomena — such as the physiological modifications which accompany and provoke this cerebral insufficiency. We only hope that this wholly provisional definition may now render some service and give somewhat greater precision to the innumerable remarks made during a long period by physicians and psychologists regarding the mental state of hystericals.
On the Psychical Mechanism of Hysterical Phenomena: Preliminary Communication
Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud
1893
Appeared originally as a separate paper in 1893.
Also printed as an introduction to book “Studies on Hysteria”, which was published in 1895 by Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud.
Reprinted in book “Studies on Hysteria”, which was published in July 6, 1982 by publisher “Basic Books”.

Excerpt from page 12:
The longer we have been occupied with these phenomena the more we have become convinced that the splitting of consciousness which is so striking in the well-known classical cases under the form of ‘double conscience’[1] is present to a rudimentary degree in every hysteria, and that a tendency to such a dissociation, and with it the emergence of abnormal states of consciousness (which we shall bring together under the term ‘hypnoid’) is the basic phenomenon of this neurosis. In these views we concur with Binet and the two Janets, [2] though we have had no experience of the remarkable findings they have made on anaesthetic patients.

1 The French term (‘dual consciousness’).
2 Pierre and Jules.
Demon Possession and Allied Themes: Being an Inductive Study of Phenomena of Our Own Times
John Livingstone Nevius
1894

1895
(Seventh Edition)
John Livingston Nevius was a pioneering American Protestant missionary in China.
Maybe one of the best books about demon possession. Despite it was written by Christian religious adept, the book contains clear and systematic presentation of the material and also contains coverage of alternative explanations of demon possession (which is extremely rare to find in books written by religious adepts).

The book’s “table of contents” shows the topics described in book.
CONTENTS.
Introductory Note By Rev. F. F. Ellinwood, D. D. iii
Author's Preface. ix
Note f Explanation, By Henry W. Rankin. 3
CHAPTER I.
First Impressions and Experiences. 9
CHAPTER II.
Experiences in Central Shantung. 17
CHAPTER III.
Further Experiences in Central Shantung. 30
CHAPTER IV.
Circular Letter and Responses. 41
CHAPTER V.
Responses to Circular Continued. 60
CHAPTER VI.
More Responses to Circular. 73
CHAPTER VII.
Other Communications from Various Sources in China. 84
CHAPTER VIII.
Demon Possession in India, Japan, and Other Lands. 95
CHAPTER IX.
Demon Possession in Christian Countries. 111
CHAPTER X.
Character of the Evidence Presented and Facts Established by It. 134
CHAPTER XI.
Explanations: Evolution and Other Theories. 146
CHAPTER XII.
The Pathological Theory. 175
CHAPTER XIII.
The Psychological Theory. 207
CHAPTER XIV.
The Biblical Theory. 243
CHAPTER XV.
Teachings of the Sacred Scriptures Continued. 263
CHAPTER XVI.
Historical Sketch of Demonism. 291
CHAPTER XVII.
Spiritualism. 314
CHAPTER XVIII.
The Facts and Literature of the Occult. 333
APPENDIX I.
More Chinese Instances. 395
APPENDIX II.
Other Testimonies. 427
INDEXES.
Bibliographical. 439
Biblical. 461
Pathological. 464
General. 465
SUPPLEMENT.

Excerpt from pages: 45-52:
I write in reply to a circular asking for information respecting possessions by spirits. I am a native of the district city of Chang-lo. I was reared in the provincial capital (Fu-chow). From a child I have attended school, and given myself to study. I was first a Confucianist, and afterward entered the religion of Jesus. Of late years I have been connected with different foreign missionaries as a scribe. Being quite willing to communicate anything I know on the subject, I hereby give you a statement of what I have myself seen and heard; following the order of your questions.
I. As to cases of possession in the province of Fukien in general, I know but little, and have no opportunity of knowing. In the city of Fuchow cases are met with occasionally. They are more numerous in the villages. In the district of Tu-ch’ing they are exceedingly common. There are many also in the district of Chang-lo. These cases are familiarly called Fan Hu-li (Inflictions by the fox).*
* It is believed by the Chinese that demons are specially fond of possessing the bodies of foxes and weasels, and that demons possessing men are also connected with foxes. So in Japan. See p. 104.

II. When a man is thus afflicted, the spirit (kwei) takes possession of his body without regard to his being strong or weak in health. It is not easy to resist the demon’s power. Though without bodily ailments, possessed persons appear as if ill. When under the spell of the demon they seem different from their ordinary selves.
III. In most cases the spirit takes possession of man’s body contrary to his will, and he is helpless in the matter. The kwei has the power of driving out the man’s spirit, as in sleep or dreams. When the subject awakes to consciousness he has not the slightest knowledge of what has transpired.
IV. The actions of possessed persons vary exceedingly. They leap about and toss their arms, and then the demon tells them what particular spirit he is, deceitfully calling himself a god, or one of the genii come down to the abodes of mortals. Or it professes to be the spirit of a deceased husband or wife, or a hu-sien ye (one of the fox fraternity.) There are also kwei (demons) of the quiet sort who talk and laugh like other people, only that the voice is changed. Some have a voice like a bird. Some speak Mandarin,*
* Mandarin is the spoken language of the northern provinces of China, and is quite different from the language of the province of Fukien from which this communication comes.

and some the local dialect; but though the speech proceeds from the mouth of the man, what is said does not appear to come from him. The outward appearance and manner are also changed.
In Fu-chow there is a class of persons who collect in large numbers, and make use of incense, pictures, candles, and lamps, to establish what are called “Incense-tables.” Tao-ist priests are engaged to attend to the ceremonies, and they also make use of “mediums.” The Taoist writes a charm for the medium, who taking the incense stick in his hand stands still like a graven image, thus signifying his willingness to have the demon come and take possession of him. Afterwards the charm is burned, and the demon is worshiped and invoked, the priest in the meanwhile going on with his chanting. After a while the medium begins to tremble, and then speaks and announces what spirit has descended, and asks what is wanted of him. Then whoever has requests to make, takes incense sticks, worships, and makes prostrations, speaking of himself as “ti-ts”, (follower or pupil) and asks a response respecting some disease, or for protection from calamity, etc. In winter the same performances are carried on to a great extent by gambling companies. If some of the responses hit the mark a large number of people are attracted. They also establish a shrine and offer sacrifices, and appoint days calling upon people from every quarter to come and consult the demon respecting diseases, etc.
There is another practice called Kiang-lan.*
* This is nearly equivalent to Planchette. Compare Proceedings of the Psychical Society, 1888, and Epes Sargent’s book Planchette.

They take a forked branch of a willow, attach to it a pencil, and place beneath it a large platter covered with sand. There are two persons supporting the branch, one on each side, for the purpose of writing. They then burn charms, and worship, and invoke the demon; after which the pen moves tracing characters on the sand.
There is also a class of men, who establish what they call a “Hall of Revelations”. At the present time there are many engaged in this practice. They are for the most part literary men of great ability. The people in large numbers apply to them for responses. The mediums spoken of above are also numerous. All the above practices are not spirits seeking to possess men, but men seeking spirits to possess them, and allowing themselves to be voluntarily used as their instruments.
V. As to the outward appearance of persons when possessed, of course they are the same persons as to outward form, as at ordinary times; but the color of the countenance may change, the demon may cause the subject to assume a threatening air, and a fierce, violent manner. The muscles stand out on the face, the eyes are closed, or they protrude with a frightful stare. Sometimes the possessed person pierces his face with an awl, or cuts his tongue with a knife. In all these mad performances the object of the demon is to frighten people. Their actions need to be carefully watched in order rightly to interpret them.
VI. As to the question: “Who are those spirits supposed to be?” The names by which they are called are very numerous, and it is difficult to give a full account of them. Some are called Shin (gods); as for instance U-hwang, or Tai-san, or Ching-hwang, and in fact any of the whole host of deities. Others are called genii, and their names are associated with Tao-ism, as for instance Lu-tsu and a great many others. Beside this they falsely assume the name of the god of medicine, or of deities who preside over cattle and horses, etc., etc. When they take possession of a man, if they personate a scholar, they affect a mild and graceful literary air; if they personate men of warlike reputation, they assume an air of resolution and authority. They first announce their name, and then act so that men will recognize them, as being what they profess to be.
VII. The words spoken certainly proceed from the mouths of the persons possessed; but what is said does not appear to come from their minds or wills, but rather from some other personality, often accompanied by a change of voice; of this there can be no doubt. When the subject returns to consciousness he invariably declares himself ignorant of what he has said.
VIII. The Chinese make use of various methods to cast out demons. They are so vexed and troubled by inflictions affecting bodily health, or it may be the moving about or destruction of family utensils, that they are driven to call in the services of some respected scholar, or Taoist priest, to offer sacrifices, or chant sacred books, and pray for protection and exemption from suffering. Some make use of sacrifices and offerings of paper clothes and money in order to induce the demon to go back to the gloomy region of “Yang-chow.” Or a more thorough method is adopted; as for instance using peach branches and willow branches, or the blood of different animals, and charmed water to drive them away. Some also profess to seize them and confine them in bottles. As to whether these methods have any effect, I do not know. As a rule, when demons are not very troublesome, the families afflicted by them generally think it best to keep them quiet by sacrifices, and burning incense to them.
IX. Christians are occasionally invited to families where there are possessed persons, where they simply read the Scriptures, sing hymns, and pray to God. They know of no other method of expelling demons. When this is done the afflicted person gains relief for the time, though it is not certain that the cure will be permanent. But if he sincerely believes the truth, and enters the Christian religion, there is very little fear of the demon’s giving him further trouble. In the district of Tu-ching the number of those who for this cause have become Christians is very great. They speak of the demons from which they have suffered as “Spirits of mad foxes.” As to whether they are right in this supposition, I do not know.
X. As to there being any difference among Christians as to their ability to cast out devils, I suppose they are all alike. It is simply this: If any Christian prays to God with true faith in Christ, the desired help will be granted.
XI. I presume unworthy Christians and those who have been excommunicated would not be able to cast out demons, though I do not know much about this.
XII. In the spread of the Gospel, if cases of possession are met with, and Christians are able through faith in Christ to cast out the demons, the effect would certainly be favorable to Christianity.
XIII. Near my home there have certainly been cases of possessed persons becoming Christians. As to whether they will continue true and faithful it is impossible to say – God only knows. I have heard that in the district of Tu-ching there are many of this class. In my native district, Chang-lo, there is a man who was formerly possessed by a demon. He believed in Christ, and entered the Christian religion, and was entirely relieved from the control of the demon. He afterwards turned aside from the truth, gave up his Christian profession, and the demon returned and tormented him until his death.”
The Psychology of Suggestion: A Research Into the Subconscious Nature of Man and Society

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Boris Sidis
1898
Boris Sidis was a Ukrainian-American psychologist, physician, psychiatrist, and philosopher of education.
Student of William James.
William James is ranked alongside Pierre Janet and Wilhelm Wundt as one of the founding fathers of psychology.
Boris Sidis eventually opposed mainstream psychology and Sigmund Freud, and thereby died ostracized.
Sidis founded the New York State Psychopathic Institute and the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.
He was the father of child prodigy William James Sidis. Sidis applied his own psychological approaches to raising his son, William James Sidis, in whom he wished to promote a high intellectual capacity. His son has been considered among the most intelligent people ever (with a ratio IQ broadly estimated at 250–300, though this claim has been contested).

The W. J. Sidis Archive contains all of his writings found so far: four books; four pamphlets; 13 articles; four periodicals (36 issues); 89 weekly magazine columns; etc.
https://www.sidis.net

Excerpt from pages 91-108:


From India to the Planet Mars: a Study of a Case of Somnambulism with Glossolalia

(French “Des Indes à la planète Mars: étude sur un cas de somnambulisme avec glossolalie”)
Theodore Flournoy

(French Théodore Flournoy)
1900
Théodore Flournoy was a Swiss professor of psychology at the University of Geneva. He is the founder of experimental psychology in Switzerland. In 1901, Flournoy founded one of the oldest psychological journals – “Psychological Archives”(Archives de Psychologie). He wrote books about parapsychology and spiritism.

The book “From India to the Planet Mars” made Flournoy famous.
The book describes the phenomenon of the medium Catherine-Elise Müller (1861–1929) who has pseudonym Hélène Smith. During six years Flournoy collected stories which Hélène Smith wrote during automatic writing séances. Hélène Smith wrote that in her previous lives she was: 1) Queen Marie Antoinette, 2) daughter of an Arab sheikh, who married an Indian rajah, and also 3) she communicated with the Martians, described them in detail, their way of life, gave examples of Martian writing.
Flournoy asked Ferdinand de Saussure (one of the founders of 20th-century linguistics) to examine the languages of Helene’s automatic writings. After careful examination, Ferdinand de Saussure concluded that Smith’s Martian language is a corrupted French, the Arabic sayings were borrowed from a family doctor who studied Arabic, and that the historical events were taken from one old work.
Flournoy did not recognize the religious dogma that the spirit is some kind of “cloudlet”, which can travel via air, which can fly from one geographical location into another.
Flournoy explained phenomenon of Hélène Smith using Frederick Myers’ idea of “subliminal consciousness”.
However, Flournoy admitted the likelihood of the existence of telepathy, clairvoyance, telekinesis and believed that a natural scientific explanation for these phenomena could be found.
The book contains a lot of images which show how handwriting changes during automatic writing sessions.

Excerpt from pages xiii-xv:
Translator’s preface
<...>
The endeavor to explain these mysterious phenomena by scientific investigators has resulted in their adoption of one or other of two hypotheses, viz.:
1. That the phenomena are the product of and originate in the subliminal consciousness of the medium; or,
2. That the phenomena are really of supernormal origin and emanate from the disincarnate spirits of the dead, who return to earth and take temporary possession of the organism of the medium, talking through her mouth, writing with her hand while she is in a somnambulistic state. The first theory involves the crediting of the subliminal consciousness with almost miraculous powers of telepathy, since, on that hypothesis, it is necessary, in order to account for the knowledge possessed by the medium, to suppose that her subliminal consciousness is able to roam at will throughout the entire universe and read the mind of any being possessing the information sought for.
All open-minded investigators freely admit that either of the above hypotheses may be untrue; that very little is known by them as yet in regard to the nature of the phenomena; that the data are too slight to justify more than a provisional hypothesis, which the discovery of new facts may at any time entirely demolish. But, thus far, the hypotheses above given seem to be the only ones which will in any way rationally account for the facts: in which case, it is evident that each individual observer will be influenced in his choice of a hypothesis by his religious belief, which will greatly affect the point of view from which he approaches the subject, and also by his natural temperament, habits of thought, etc.
<...>
he does not believe the phenomena manifested by her to be of supernormal origin. The various alleged “spirit” messages, "incarnations”, ”gift of tongues” and all other apparently supernormal phenomena, in his opinion, spring from Mile. Smith's subliminal consciousness, and he exercises great skill and ingenuity in his effort to trace the very wonderful and astonishing manifestations with which he has had to deal to natural sources.
<...>
Daniel B. Vermilye.
Columbia University, New York,
July, 1900.

Excerpt from page 10:
Mlle. Smith has no fewer than three distinct somnambulistic romances and if to these is added the existence of that secondary personality to which I have already alluded, and which reveals itself under the name of Leopold, we find ourselves in the presence of four subconscious creations of vast extent, which have been evolved on parallel lines for several years, and which manifest themselves in irregular alternation during the course of different séances, or often even in the same séance. All of these have undoubtedly a common origin in Helene's subliminal consciousness; but in practice, at least, and to all appearance, these imaginative constructions present a relative independence and a diversity of content sufficiently great to render it necessary to study them separately. I shall confine myself at present to a general view of them.

Excerpt from page 13:
Although I have accused myself of perhaps having had much to do with the transformation of Helene's hemisomnambulism into complete trances, I believe myself, however, altogether innocent of the origin, and therefore of the subsequent development, of the great subliminal creations of which I have spoken.

Excerpt from page 23:
Alongside of hallucinations like these, which do not show any intentional or useful character and are only a capricious and fortuitous irruption into the normal consciousness, mere dreams or fancies filling up the sub-conscious strata, there are also manifested in Helene's case some hallucinations of a manifest utility, which have in consequence the sense of messages addressed by the subliminal consciousness of the subject to her normal consciousness, by way of warning and protection. It is to be noted that these hallucinations, which might be called teleological, have lately been claimed by Leopold, although he has no recollection of, and does not assert himself to be the author of, the earlier ones.

Excerpt from pages 24-25:
I have no reason to doubt the substantial accuracy either of the account given by Helene and her mother, or of the explanation recently furnished by Leopold. The incident belongs to the category of well-known cases where a danger of some sort not suspected by the normal personality, but which is subconsciously known or recognized, is warded off by a preservative hallucination, either sensory (as here – the cry of the bird) or motor (as in the lifting of the body). The subliminal consciousness is not always able to give a clear message; in the present case, the auditive automatism remained in a state of elementary hallucination, a simple whistle, without being able to elevate it to a distinct verbal hallucination. Its general warning sense, however, was understood by Helene, thanks to the confused feeling of danger that she felt at the same time. Moreover, this confused feeling, which caused her to quicken her steps, it seems to me, ought not to be considered as the consequence of the whistle she heard, but rather as a parallel phenomenon; the appearance or the odor of the mint she was carrying, while not attracting her conscious attention, nevertheless dimly roused in her an idea of the danger lurking in the flowers, and that idea in turn affected her clear consciousness under the double form of a vague emotion of danger and a verboauditive translation which did not go so far as to formulate itself explicitly.

Excerpt from page 266
Maintaining all the while that my deductions appeared to me strictly correct, I felt bound to admit that science is not infallible, and that a voyage to Mars could alone solve all our doubts as to what takes place there. We parted good friends, but that conversation left me with a very clear impression of the complete uselessness of my efforts to make Mile. Smith share my conceptions of the subliminal consciousness. But this, however, neither surprises nor grieves me, since from her point of view it is perhaps better that she thus believes.

Excerpt from pages 401-402:
Examples of this kind, drawn from Mlle. Smith's mediumship, might be almost indefinitely multiplied; but cut bono? Once more, I do not claim that Leopold has never given any medical consultation surpassing Helene's latent knowledge and implying supernormal powers of clairvoyance. I only say that I have not yet succeeded in finding a single case where the proofs reached the height of that conclusion.
2. Objects Recovered. – I do not know any case in which Mlle. Smith has indicated the situation of an object which had been hidden, and as to the location of which she could have had no information through natural channels. All her discoveries consist, so far as I have been able to judge, in the return, under a spiritistic and with a dramatic aspect, of memories either simply forgotten or properly subliminal, which depended upon the incidents concerned having first belonged to the ordinary consciousness, or their having always escaped it and having been from their origin registered in the subconsciousness.
These are facts of cryptomnesia pure and simple – i.e., explicable by a normal psychological process very common in its essence, while the picturesque embellishments added by the mediumistic imagination give to these teleological automatisms a certain mysterious and supernormal appearance which in other surroundings would certainly create for Helene – or rather for Leopold – a place alongside St. Anthony of Padua.

Excerpt from page 405:
This case has remained in the eyes of Mlle. Smith and her spiritistic friends as one of the most striking and irrefragible proofs of the objective and independent reality of Leopold. For the psychologist it constitutes a very beautiful and interesting example of cryptomnesia, well worthy to figure among the very instructive cases collected by Mr. Myers, in which the memory of a subliminal perception (i. e., registered immediately without striking the normal personality) appears as a revelation in a dream of ordinary sleep, or under some other equivalent form of automatism. Here is “Leopold” – the subconsciousness of Helene – who, having felt the pin fall and noticed where it rolled, first manifested himself in a passing nocturnal vision, and then took advantage of the next spiritistic gathering to restore completely her latent memories. It is not necessary to see anything intentional in this restitution, the simple play of association of ideas sufficing to explain that the memory of the situation of the pin stored up in a subliminal stratum and stimulated by a desire to recover the lost object might have mechanically reappeared at the moment of the séance, thanks to mediumistic autohypnotization, and gushed forth under the dramatic form, naturally appropriate to the environment, of an apparently supernormal piece of information furnished by Leopold.

Excerpt from pages 442-443:
There is, in the first place, the influence, so often verified, of emotional shocks and of certain psychic traumatisms upon mental dissociation. By means of these the birth of hypnoid states may become the germ either of secondary personalities more or less strongly marked (we have seen that the first manifestations of Leopold in the childhood of Helene are attributable to this cause) or of somnambulistic romances, which hold the same relation towards the normal state as does that exaggeration of stories and indulgence in reveries to which so many are addicted – perhaps all of us.
We must also take into consideration the enormous suggestibility and auto-suggestibility of mediums, which render them so sensitive to all the influences of spiritistic reunions, and are so favorable to the play of those brilliant subliminal creations in which, occasionally, the doctrinal ideas of the surrounding environment are reflected together with the latent emotional tendencies of the medium herself. The development of the personality of Leopold-Cagliostro, starting from the moment at which Mlle. Smith began her séances, is easily explained in this manner, as well as the Martian dream and the previous existences of the Hindoo princess and the queen of France.
And, finally, we must note the phenomena of cryptomnesia, the awakening and setting to work of forgotten memories, which easily account for the elements of truth contained in the great preceding constructions and in the incarnations or casual visions of Mlle. Smith in the course of her séances.

Excerpt from page 445:
It tends to show that the secondary personalities are probably, in their origin, as the idea has been sometimes suggested, phenomena of reversion of the ordinary actual personality, or of momentary returns of inferior phases, long since passed, and which normally should have been absorbed in the development of the individuality, instead of breaking forth again in strange proliferations.

Excerpt from page 446:
And now let us admit, hypothetically, that I have not been able to see the supernormal, which was plainly before my eyes, and that it is this blindness of mine alone which has prevented me from recognizing the real presence of Joseph Balsamo, my own mother, the Hindoo princess, etc. – or, at all events, the presence of real, disincarnate, independent spirits. It is, of course, to be regretted, but then it is I alone who will be in disgrace on the day when the truth shall be made manifest.
On the Psychology and Pathology of So-Called Occult Phenomena.

(German “Zur Psychologie und Pathologie sogenannter occulter Phänomene: eine psychiatrische Studie”)
Carl Gustav Jung
1902

Originally published in the „Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology
(1916).

Also published in
The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Psychiatric Studies
(1975).
Doctoral dissertation of Carl Gustav Jung.
The doctoral dissertation of Carl Gustav Jung was about the “automatic writing” (psychography) and other “occult” phenomena.
Carl Gustav Jung claimed in his dissertation that the hand/voice/etc of the medium is controlled by the independent “automatic personality” (Jung called the medium’s trance personalities “automatisms”, meaning “autonomous” or “automatic personalities”), however the followers-disciples of Jung completely ignore this Jung’s claim as if Jung had never spoken about that.
Jung’s dissertation contains very poor presentation of material.

The works of Carl Gustav Jung and Sigmund Freud do not meet the scientific criteria and therefore is pseudoscience (more detailed explanation is in the article “What is science and what isn't science?”). However, Carl Gustav Jung and Sigmund Freud contributed to the creation of the Neurocluster Brain Model by promoting the concept of the “subconscious”, i.e. Jung and Freud promoted the idea that certain parts of the mind act independently from the main personality of a man. However both Jung and Freud failed to provide clear scientific definition of the term “subconscious”, and also they both failed to clearly indicate the location of the “subconscious”. The followers-disciples of Jung and Freud even more mangled the ideas of Jung and Freud, and as a result, the followers-disciples of Jung and Freud claim that “subconscious” is located either in the noosphere (a pseudoscientific term which refers to some kind of “field” that covers the Earth planet) or they themselves do not know where that the “subconscious” is located. In other words, their pseudoscientific blabber is no different from the blabber of the occultists.

Excerpt from „The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Psychiatric Studies” (1975) page 72, paragraph 125:
Our patient proved at first absolutely inaccessible during lethargy; later she started to speak spontaneously, was indistractible when her somnambulistic ego was speaking, but distractible when the speaker was one of her automatic personalities.

Excerpt from „The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Psychiatric Studies” (1975) pages 77-78, paragraph 132:
They are not lost; but as repressed thoughts, analogous to the idea of Ivenes, they begin to lead an independent existence as autonomous personalities.

Excerpt from „The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Psychiatric Studies” (1975) page 78, paragraph 133:
They are nothing but dramatized split-offs from her dream-ego. The others, the automata, are the ones to be overcome; they must have no part in Ivenes. The only thing they have in common with her spirit companions is the name.

Excerpt from „The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Psychiatric Studies” (1975) page 80, paragraph 138:
By heightened unconscious performance we mean that peculiar automatic process whose results are not available for the conscious psychic activity of the individual.
Multiple Personality: an Experimental Investigation Into the Nature of Human Individuality
Boris Sidis
1905

The Dissociation of a Personality; a Biographical Study in Abnormal Psychology
Morton Prince
(full name: Morton Henry Prince)
1906

The Major Symptoms of Hysteria: Fifteen Lectures Given in the Medical School of Harvard University
Pierre Janet
(full name: Pierre Marie Félix Janet)
1907

1920
(Second Edition)

Excerpts from pages 40-43:
How can we understand, how can we picture to ourselves the whole of these facts? What is the essential point which can sum up the observations? I propose to you the following psychological interpretation. An idea, the memory of an event, for instance, the thought of a ferocious animal, the thought of a mother's death, all these form groups of psychological facts closely connected with one another; they are certain kinds of systems comprising all sorts of pictures and all sorts of tendencies to certain movements, but with a strong unity. These systems in our minds have their strength and their law of development that are peculiar to them. They have also a great tendency to development when they are not kept within bounds by another power.[1]

[1] See these laws of development of the mental systems in my first book, "L'automatisme psychologique," 1889.

Allow me to represent to you this system of psychological facts, which constitutes an idea, by a system of points connected together by some lines, forming a sort of polygon (Fig. I).
The Major Symptoms of Hysteria. Fig. 1


The point S represents the sight of the face of the dead mother, the point V is the sound of her voice; another point, M, is the feeling of the movements made to carry up the body, and so on. This polygon is like the system of thoughts which was developed in the mind and in the brain of our patient Irene. Each point is connected with the others, so one cannot excite the first without giving birth to the second, and the entire system has a tendency to develop itself to the utmost.
But at the same time in healthy minds these systems pertaining to each idea are connected with an infinitely wider system of which they are only a part, the system of our entire consciousness, of our entire individuality. The remembrance of the mother's death, even the affection Irene feels for her mother, with all the memories that are connected with it, forms only a part of the whole consciousness of the young girl with all its memories and other tendencies. Let this large circle, P, near the little polygon represent the whole personality of the girl, the memory of all that happened in her previous life.
Normally, in good health, the little system must be connected with the large one, and must in great part depend on it. Generally the partial system remains subject to the laws of the total system: it is called up only when the whole consciousness is willing, and within the limits in which this consciousness allows it.
Now, to picture to ourselves what has taken place during somnambulism, we may adopt a simple provisional resume. Things happen as if an idea, a partial system of thoughts, emancipated itself, became independent and developed itself on its own account. The result is, on one hand, that it develops far too much, and, on the other hand, that consciousness appears no longer to control it. That general remark may still seem to you very vague and very difficult to understand. Nevertheless, I wished to point it out to you in a few words: first, because it emerges very clearly out of the study of the first phenomenon of hysteria; secondly, because it will serve us as a clew to understand a thousand other cases of the neurosis. Don't trouble about the obscurity of that first remark; after you have repeated it exactly in the same way with regard to a thousand different phenomena, it will not be long before you find yourself understanding it clearly.

Excerpts from pages 303-311:
I proposed to summarize this somewhat peculiar mental state by the words "retraction of the field of consciousness." Let us try to understand the meaning of this general expression.
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The Major Symptoms of Hysteria. Fig. 21
FIG. 21. T T' T", elementary sensations of touch; M M' M", of muscular sense; V V', V", of vision; A A' A", of audition; P P, personal perception.

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In the scheme I have drawn (Figure 21), each separate little cross of the upper line designates one of those little phenomena, V, V, V", when it is a question of the vision, T, T', T", when it is a question of the sensations of touch, and so on.
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formerly proposed to designate this new operation by the name of personal perception, P.P., for it is indeed a perception, that is to say, a clearer and more complex consciousness.
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Our schema gives us the formula perfectly. Let us suppose (Figure 22) an individual who cannot see, at a given moment, more than three elementary sensations, such as V, V', A .

The Major Symptoms of Hysteria. Fig. 22
FIG. 22. Schema of absent-mindedness.

He will leave all the rest in his subconsciousness. At another moment, he will be able to turn to T, T', V, or to M, V', A. At the first moment, he will look at, and listen to, a person who speaks to him, without troubling about the tactile sensations which continue to assail him. At the second moment, he will look at an object while touching it, and appreciate the contact without having consciousness of the surrounding noises. At the third moment, he will write at dictation, having the perception of the sound of the voice, of the vision of the letters and of the muscular movements, but forgetting and neglecting all the other elementary sensations, as T, T', T", M', M", V, V", A', A". This individual is absent-minded, and this (Figure 22) is an attempt to schematize what is called normal absentmindedness.
Let us suppose that the field of consciousness becomes still more contracted. The patient can no longer perceive more than two elementary sensations at once. Of necessity too, he reserves this small share of perception for the sensations which seem to him, whether right or wrong, the most important, the sensations of sight and hearing. To have consciousness of what is seen or heard is of paramount necessity, and he neglects to perceive the tactile and muscular sensations, thinking he can do without them (Figure 23). At the outset, he might perhaps still turn to them and take them into his field of personal perception, at least for a moment; ,but, the chance not presenting itself, the bad psychological habit is slowly formed. Nothing is more serious, more obstinate than these moral habits. There is a crowd of maladies that are only psychological tics. One day the patient (for he has truly become one now) is examined by the physician. The latter pinches his left arm, and asks him if he feels it, and the patient, to his great surprise, is obliged to confess that he can no longer feel consciously. The too long-neglected sensations have escaped his personal perception; he has become anesthetic.

The Major Symptoms of Hysteria. Fig. 23
FIG. 23. Schema of the contraction of the field of consciousness in hysterical anesthesia.

You may easily understand that the same notion of the contraction of the field of consciousness equally sums up the last phenomenon, that of alternations. It is because the field of consciousness remains contracted, that you can never add one phenomenon on one side without taking one away from another side. If you force the subject, by attracting his attention, to recover the sensibility of the left side, he loses it on the right side. If you obtain the total tactile sensibility, the reduction of the visual field increases so much that the subject becomes momentarily blind, a thing we have observed a number of times without having foreseen it. If you wish to enlarge the visual field, the tactile anesthesia will increase. The feebleness of these patients' thinking continues, and they lose on one side what they seem to have regained on another. I am therefore inclined to think that this notion of the retraction of the field of consciousness summarizes the preceding stigmata, and we may say that their fundamental mental state is characterized by a special moral weakness, consisting in the lack of power, on the part of the feeble subject, to gather, to condense his psychological phenomena, and assimilate them to his personality.

Excerpts from page 316:
It is a mental depression characterized by the disappearance of the higher functions of the mind, with the preservation and often with an exaggeration of the lower functions; it is a lowering of the mental level. So we may say, in short, that hystericals present to us the following stigmata: a depression, a lowering of the mental level, which takes the special form of a retraction of the field of consciousness.

Excerpts from page 322:
It is enough to take the most commonplace psychological definitions and replace their terms with words vaguely borrowed from the language of anatomy and the current physiological hypotheses. Instead of saying, " The function of language is separated from the personality," one will proudly say, "The centre of speech has no longer any communication with the higher centres of association." Instead of saying, " The mental synthesis appears to be diminished," one will say, "The higher centre of association is benumbed," and the feat will be done.

Excerpts from pages 331-332:
We then arrive at another group of definitions in which I range mine. They are definitions, in my opinion, more profound, into which enter the phenomena of dissociation of consciousness, such as is observed in all hysterical disturbances. Suggestion itself is but a case of this dissociation of consciousness. There are many others beside the one in somnambulisms, in automatic words, in emotional attacks, in all the functional paralyses. Many authors, Gurney, Myers, Laurent, Breuer and Freud, Benedict, Oppenheim, Jolly, Pick, Morton Prince, have thought like me that a place should be made for the disposition to somnambulism. Was not the somnambulic attack for us the type of hysterical accidents in 1889? "The disposition to this dissociation and, at the same time, the formation of states of consciousness, which we propose to collect under the name of hypnoid states, constitute the fundamental phenomenon of this neurosis," said MM. Breuer and Freud, of Vienna, in 1893.
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Hysteria is a form of mental depression characterized by the retraction of the field of personal consciousness and a tendency to the dissociation and emancipation of the systems of ideas and functions that constitute personality.
The Riddle of Personality
Henry Addington Bayley Bruce
1908
(First Edition)

1909
(Reprinted Edition)

1915
(New and Revised Edition)
Henry Addington Bayley Bruce was an American journalist and author of psychology books.
My Life as a Dissociated Personality
Morton Prince
(full name: Morton Henry Prince)
1909

Subconscious phenomena
Hugo Münsterberg, Théodule-Armand Ribot, Pierre Janet, Joseph Jastrow, Bernard Hart and Morton Prince
1910
This book contains Chapter Four (pages 53-70), which was written by Pierre Janet, and we can clearly see that in year 1910 Pierre Janet totally degraded as a scientist – his writings contain only philosophical-theoretical pouring from one empty vessel into another, he is incapable to do any scientific analytical analysis.

Excerpts from pages 10-15:
The second meaning (Professor Münsterberg’s second type) involves a theory which is an interpretation of the facts. It is with this meaning particularly that the term is used in abnormal psychology. Subconscious ideas are dissociated or split-off ideas; split off from the main personal consciousness, from the focus of attention – if that term be preferred – in such fashion that the subject is entirely unaware of them, though they are not inert but active. These split-off ideas may be limited to isolated sensations, like the lost tactile sensations of anesthesia; or may be aggregated into groups or systems. In other words, they form a consciousness coexisting with the primary consciousness, and thereby a doubling of consciousness results. The split-off consciousness may display extraordinary activity. The primary personal consciousness as a general rule is of course the main and larger consciousness; but under exceptional conditions, as in some types of automatic writing, the personal consciousness may be reduced to rudimentary proportions, while the secondary consciousness may rob the former of the greater part of its faculties and become the dominant consciousness.
The third meaning (Professor Münsterberg’s first type) is an elaboration and extension of the second, and thus becomes a theory which not only gives an elaborate interpretation of the facts of observation, but becomes a broad generalization in that it propounds a principle of both normal and abnormal life. Under it the dissociated states become synthesized among themselves into a large self-conscious personality, to which the term “self” is given. Subconscious states thus become personified and are spoken of as the “subconscious self,” “subliminal self,” “hidden self,” “secondary self,” etc.; and this subconscious self is conceived of as making up a part of every human mind, whether normal or abnormal, and is supposed to play a very large part in our mental life. Thus every mind is double; not in the moderate sense of two trains of thought going on at the same time, or being engaged with two distinct and separate series of actions at the same time; or even in the sense of there being certain limited discreet perceptions of which the personal consciousness is not aware; but in the sense of having two selves which are often given special domains of their own and spoken of as upper and lower; the waking and submerged selves, etc. This theory, therefore, not only extends the principle of dissociated ideas into normal life and makes these constant elements of the human mind, but enlarges the subconscious synthesis into something that is self-conscious and which can speak of itself as an “I”.
The fourth meaning of subconscious is that which by definition would have it include; first, the dissociated ideas embraced under the second definition above stated; and seccond, all those past conscious experiences which are either forgotten and can not be recalled, or which may be recalled as memories, but for the moment are out of mind because in the march of events our thoughts have passed on and we are thinking about something else. All these potential memories are placed in the subconscious which plainly is thus made to define two classes of facts; namely, dissociated states which are active, and those which are inactive, i e., forgotten, or out of mind (Sidis’ definition).
The fifth use of the term (Myers’ doctrine) is an expansion of the third meaning and involves a metaphysical doctrine which transcends all facts which one can possibly observe in others or introspect in himself. It is more specifically described as the “subliminal,” which is used as a synonym for subconscious. The subconscious ideas, instead of being mental states dissociated from the main personality, now become the main reservoir of consciousness and the personal consciousness becomes a subordinate stream flowing out of this great storage basis of “subliminal” ideas as they are called. We have within us a great tank of consciousness but we are conscious of only a small portion of its contents. In other words, of the sum total of conscious states within us only a small portion forms the personal consciousness. The personal self becomes even an inferior consciousness emerging out of a superior subliminal consciousness sometimes conceived as part of a transcendental world, and this subliminal consciousness is made the source of flights of genius on the one hand, while it controls the physical processes of the body on the other.
The sixth meaning (Professor Münsterberg’s third type) of the term is an interpretation on pure physiological principles of the phenomena customarily attributed to the activity of dissociated ideas. Some psychologists believe that phenomena like automatic writing and speech, the so-called subconscious solution of arithmetical problems, hysterical outbursts, etc., can be best explained as pure neural processes unaccompanied by any mentation whatsoever. These phenomena become therefore pure physiological organic processes of the body. The term subconscious thus becomes equivalent to the old theory of Carpenter’s “unconscious cerebration”.

Excerpts from pages 71-73 (Chapter Five, By Morton Prince, Professor of Neurology, Tufts College Medical School):
According to the first of these two interpretations (Professor Münsterberg’s and my second type), so-called automatic writing and speech, post-hypnotic phenomena like the solution of arithmetical problems and various abnormal phenomena, of the origin of all which the subject is ignorant, are the manifestations of dissociated ideas of which the subject is unaware and which are therefore called subconscious. Thus a “doubling” of consciousness results consisting of the personal self and the subconscious ideas. I prefer myself the term co-conscious to subconscious, partly to express the notion of co-activity of a second co-consciousness, partly to avoid the ambiguity of the conventional term due to its many meanings, and partly because such ideas are not necessarily sub-conscious at all; that is, there may be no lack of awareness of them. The co-conscious ideas may be very elementary and consist only of sensations and perceptions which have been split off from the personal consciousness, as in hysterical anesthesiae, or they may consist of recurring memories of past experiences. Under certain conditions by a process of synthesizing these ideas and assimilation of them with a greater or less amount of the personal self, which is thereby attenuated, in its faculties, quite large dissociated systems of subconscious ideas may be formed and give rise to the complicated phenomena for which an interpretation is desired.

Excerpts from pages 94-95:
If it is true that dissociated brain systems can functionate (as in other parts of the nervous system), and if it is true that they have psychical equivalents, then whether we are self-conscious of any given state of consciousness must depend, it would seem, upon whether the brain process, correlated with it, is synthesized in a particular way with the larger system of brain processes which is correlated at a given moment with the self-conscious personality. And in so far as a brain process can occur detached from the main system of brain processes, so far can consciousness occur without self-consciousness. Unfortunately, we have scarcely a glimmer of knowledge of the nature of the synthesis, and therefore of the conditions which determine whether we shall be aware of any conscious state or not. This is a problem in psychology which awaits the future. Nor is self-consciousness a necessary element of consciousness.

Excerpts from page 96:
Dissociation, with activity, independent of the main focus of consciousness, does not necessarily imply or require absence of awareness on the part of the latter, and practically, as we have seen in discussing the phenomena of automatic writing, under the same conditions, a subject is sometimes aware of the dissociated ideas which are actively manifesting themselves and sometimes not. The same is true of post-hypnotic and abnormal phenomena. Indeed, even when there is absence of awareness on the part of the personal consciousness, the dissociated co-consciousness may, per contra, be aware of the content of the former. For this reason, if for no other, co-consciousness is the preferable term. The one fundamental principle and criterion of the subconscious is dissociation and co-activity (automatism).
The Conception of the Subconscious

Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Volume 4. Issue. 6 1910
Bernard Hart
1910

Also published in book
Subconscious phenomena
(1910)
as the last Chapter in the book.
Bernard Hart was a British physician and psychiatrist.
Bernard Hart’s 1910 paper “The conception of the subconscious” introduced the works of Pierre Janet and Sigmund Freud to English-speaking psychologists.

Excerpts from pages 352-354:
The first serious contribution to the filling up of the gaps in the psychical series was made by Leibnitz, who demonstrated that our conscious life contains small elements lying outside its main stream, but which nevertheless produce an effect by a process of summation and combination. Schopenhauer(1) thought that a large number of our sense perceptions were the result of unconscious processes of reasoning — and the same theory was propounded in a more exact form by Helmholtz(2). By this period, therefore, the attempt to bridge the intervals in the psychical series by processes of unconscious thought had taken definite shape. The question of the subconscious first, however, became prominent with the publication of Hartmann's “Philosophie des Unbewussten”, in 1868. The intense enthusiasm with which this work was greeted in the most varied quarters affords a striking demonstration of that hunger for continuity whose existence we have already noted. Hartmann conceived the subconscious as a second personality concealed beneath the surface of our ordinary consciousness, but precisely comparable to the latter in its structure and functions. He appeals to this hypothetical being whenever there is a gap in the chain of visible causation, and endows it with properties of a really startling kind. “Let us not despair,” he says, “at having a mind so practical and so lowly, so unpoetical and so little spiritual; there is within the innermost sanctuary of each of us a marvellous something of which we are unconscious, which dreams and prays while we labor to earn our daily bread”(3). Hartmann’s work is of historical importance on account of the stimulus it provided to further investigation, but his use of the concept of the unconscious was so unbridled that the value of his actual results is almost altogether nullified. James has described his theory as a “tumbling ground for whimsies”, and Höffding remarks, “We may say of it, as Galileo said of the appeal to an almighty will, it explains nothing because it explains everything”(4).
Some of the most important advances in the historical development of the subconscious have been furnished by the French School of Morbid Psychology during the latter part of the nineteenth century, initiated under Charcot and Ribot, and culminating in the work of Janet. In his classical “Automatisme Psychologique” the latter demonstrated that a large number of morbid phenomena can be adequately explained by assuming the existence of dissociated mental elements altogether outside the sphere of the personality.
Morton Prince has further developed Janet’s point of view. He divides psychological material into that of which the individual is personally conscious and that of which he is not personally conscious. Those experiences are personally conscious which are synthesized in the “personality”. The experiences of which the individual is not personally conscious are further divided into co-conscious and unconscious. Co-conscious corresponds in the main to Janet’s “subconscious” — actively functioning ideas dissociated from the personality. Under unconscious are included the phenomena of memory, and in general all the ideas, traces, etc., which are not at the moment actively functioning, and which are to be regarded as mere physiological residua. Any of these latter may at any time become conscious or co-conscious. Dr. Prince considers that the essential character of a co-conscious idea consists in the fact that it leads an autonomous existence, and is not dependent upon the ego-complex. Co-conscious, therefore, does not necessarily imply that the ego is unaware of the idea in question. Thus, in the well-known case described in “The Dissociation of a Personality,” one personality knows all the thoughts and actions of a second, but considers them to be those of another being whom, indeed, she regards with unconcealed dislike. This extension of the meaning of Janet’s conception is very important, and enables us to throw more light upon the analogous manifestations occurring in paranoia.

Excerpts from pages 363-364:
It is of fundamental importance to recognize the fact that different authors when they speak of the subconscious not only speak from different points of view, but speak of totally different things. Morton Prince has pointed out that “the term subconscious is commonly used in the loosest and most reprehensible way to define facts of a different order, interpretations of facts, and philosophical theories” (9). Hence it is meaningless to predicate any statement of the subconscious as a whole without first defining the sense in which we are employing the term. Dr. Prince has enunciated its various meanings in his prefatory note to the symposium which appeared in this JOURNAL. By Stout and others the term is used to denote those marginal portions of the field of consciousness which are not at the moment in the focus of attention. Here subconscious merely means “dimly conscious”. Myers ascribes to the subconscious various supernatural properties which take his conception altogether beyond the limits of science. We have already dealt with Hartmann’s picture of the subconscious as a second self comparable in all respects to the personal consciousness. The remaining meanings are best illustrated by the doctrines of Janet and Freud, and we must now proceed to examine these at some length.
We have actual experience only of our own conscious phenomena — we deduce the conscious phenomena of others by means of analogy in two ways, directly from what they tell us through the medium of speech, indirectly from their actions.*

*It may be maintained that our knowledge of the conscious phenomena of others is therefore really conceptual in character, as we ourselves have no actual experience of them. If conceptual is taken in an indefinitely wide sense this is of course true. But such deductions are on an altogether different plane from the conceptions of science. Relatively to the conceptions of science they are phenomena, just as helium in the sun is a phenomenon — and both science and everyday life are compelled to treat them as such. To refuse to subscribe to this point of view would involve the adoption of Solipsism.

Now the subconscious of Janet and his followers does not differ in its essential nature from any “conscious phenomena of others” with which we are acquainted — its existence is deduced on precisely the same grounds. This fact has been ably demonstrated by Dr. Prince in his contribution to the symposium. If we hold a conversation with a patient whose hand at the same moment writes of matters which are unknown to the personality, we speak of the subconscious phenomena attending the writing for the very same reason that we speak of the conscious phenomena attending the patient’s conversation. The distinction of the subconscious lies solely in the fact that it is dissociated from certain other “conscious phenomena of others”, which we designate as the personality. The subconscious of Janet is, therefore, a phenomenal fact. It may be reduced in complexity to even a single idea, but it remains a phenomenon. Janet himself has remarked, “These diverse acts are identical with those which we are accustomed to observe in persons like ourselves and to explain by the intervention of intelligence. Undoubtedly one may say that a somnambulist is only a mechanical doll, but then we must say the same of every creature. The term ‘doubling of consciousness’ is not a philosophical explanation; it is a simple clinical observation of a common character which these phenomena present”.(10)

Excerpts from pages 369-370:
We must now proceed further and endeavor to determine the relation between Janet’s subconscious and Freud’s unconscious. This relation is often held to be one of rivalry, but if our analysis of the two doctrines is correct, this view must be erroneous. There can be no rivalry between a description of the phenomenal facts, and a conceptual model constructed to resume these facts. 1 he phenomenon of dissociation has not been disputed by Freud — on the contrary, it takes a prominent place amongst the circumstances which he desires to explain. His work lies on a deeper plane, his aim is not a description of the facts, but the conceptual explanation of these facts. We have here, in fact, that progression by which the method of science is invariably characterized. Firstly, the collection and classification of facts, represented here by the coordinated description of the phenomena of the subconscious or coconscious; secondly, the construction of a conceptual model to explain these facts, represented by the theories of Freud. Precisely analogous advances are to be found in the history of physics. Kepler, for example, by classifying the successive positions in space of the planets, demonstrated that each moved in an ellipse, one of whose foci was occupied by the sun. Newton subsequently explained this fact by the construction of the law of gravity. It must be carefully observed that we have spoken throughout of the relation of Freud’s doctrines to Janet’s conception of the subconscious, not to Janet’s work as a whole. There can be no question that this larger relation is to a considerable extent one of conflict. But this conflict only arises when Janet leaves the phenomenal plane and proceeds to construct conceptual generalizations. Thus his views on the essential nature of hysteria and psychasthenia, the separation of the latter as a distinct entity, the origin of obsessions, and other similar points — these cannot be reconciled altogether with the teaching of Freud. But whatever the ultimate verdict on these theories may be, Janet’s indestructible monument will always be his vindication of the psychological method, his demonstration of the phenomena of dissociation, and a description of the facts of hysteria which has never been excelled in the history of psychiatry.
We are now in a position to summarize the results of our investigation: The word subconscious has been used by various authors to denote facts belonging to altogether different categories, and it is necessary in the interests of clearness that a terminology should be devised which will obviate this confusion. Excluding those speculative interpretations which do not enter into the field of science, these facts may be grouped under three heads. Firstly, the marginal elements of phenomenal consciousness (the subconscious of Stout), secondly, dissociated portions of phenomenal consciousness (the co-conscious of Morton Prince, and the subconscious of Janet), thirdly, a non-phenomenal conceptual construction designed to explain the facts of phenomenal consciousness (the unconscious of Freud). All these form part of the material of psychology, none of them form part of the material of physiology.

Bibliography
1. Schopenhauer. Satz vom Grunde.
2. Helmholtz. Die Tatsachen in der Wahrnehmung.
3. Hartmann. Das Unbewusste, quoted by Janet, Journ. of Abnorm. Psychol., June, 1907.
4. Höffding. History of Philosophy, p. 583.
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9. Morton Prince. "The Subconscious", Comtes Rendus, Geneva Congress of Psychology, 1909.
10. Janet. “The Subconscious”, Journ. of Abnorm. Psychol., June, 1907.
Studies in Spiritism
Amy Eliza Tanner
1910
Amy Eliza Tanner was an American professor of Philosophy.
Amy Eliza Tanner wrote the book “Studies in Spiritism” in which she described the tests she and G. Stanley Hall had carried out in the six séances held with the medium Leonora Piper. Mrs. Leonora Piper (1859–1950) was one of the most famous mediums who ever lived. During séances Mrs. Piper was taken over by spirits who controlled her voice and directed her hand to write messages.
In this book Amy Eliza Tanner analyses the theory that “spirits” acting through the medium are actually “secondary personalities” (or “subconscious self” or “subliminal mind”) of the medium.

Excerpts from page xxiv:
Once more it is possible that, unknown to others, Hodgson during life had begun to develop a partitioned-off secondary personality, and that this parasitic rather than his true self was what we held converse with. This theory is particularly astute and subtle, and could probably be made to harmonise with all the facts of the case more completely than any other that the wit of man can just at present devise. May I not commend this hypothesis to Dr. Hyslop as worthy of his apologetics?

Excerpts from page xxvi:
In fine, at the very best, I for one can see nothing more in Mrs. Piper than an interesting case of secondary personality with its own unique features. It is very easy to conjure mystic meanings into the utterances of all such split-off egos, to treat every mutter in a dream symbolically, to match each at occasional points with real events or persons, if we set out with the wish and will to do so.

Excerpts from pages xxxvi-xxxix:
The trance state in her case is described at length in the text. But trance states are by no means the exclusive possession of mediums. They are common in hysterical subjects, and in cases of secondary personality, and can be produced by hypnosis or suggestion with proper subjects. While in the trance the victim is more or less unconscious of what is going on about her, and on recovering remembers her feelings more or less dimly. The state has many resemblances to somnambulism. Neither the causes nor cure of it are as yet well understood.
The subconscious self or subliminal mind is a term used to designate various mental processes which seem to be present in the mind, but are not within the range of consciousness, e. g., if a person has a difficult decision to make, he may put the whole matter out of his mind, not thinking about it for several days, and then one day find that he knows just what he intends to do. In such a case, various shiftings of associations must have been going on of which he has no memory and which he could not attend to at any time, and so we say they went on “below consciousness”, or in the “subconscious mind”. Again, it has been discovered that in many cases of hysteria the root trouble is some mental shock which has sunk below the conscious level and is there disorganising the personality, and that when this can be brought to consciousness and connected with the rest of the mental life, the person is cured. In hypnotism, again, with a good subject, a command can be given that he shall do some act at some future date — even a year or more later — and when the time comes he will do the act. This is called post-hypnotic suggestion. In the interval between the hypnotising and the date set for the act, the subject has no memory of the command, and yet the fact that he performs the act at the appropriate time shows that the command left some sort of trace. So we say it was in the “subconscious mind”.
The memories that can be revived in hypnosis or by putting the subject through a strict process of self-analysis and questioning extended sometimes over weeks — called the psycho-analytic method — seem to indicate that very many experiences which we cannot recall at will are nevertheless present in this subconscious level, and many students now suppose that no experience is ever really forgotten.
Now, if some of these groups of submerged or subconscious memories are roused into activity, they tend to connect themselves with other groups, and under certain conditions of nervous strain or shock, they may become strong enough to obtain control of the usual channels of expression, the month and hands especially, and then the person speaks only of those memories and feelings and becomes a new personality. We say then that a secondary personality has emerged. After a time — sometimes weeks or months, sometimes only days or hours — these centres lose their control, the person goes into a sort of stupor, trance, or sleep, and wakes up either his old self or a third self, still another personality. The original self is the primary personality. Theoretically there is no limit to the number of selves which may thus appear, and in some clinical cases as many as six have been studied.
The principal reason why these multiple personalities do not appear in most of us seems to be that we ourselves use the ordinary avenues of expression of thought, the mouth, hands, and body generally, so constantly that they cannot easily be shunted off from their usual connections and connected with these submerged thoughts. But many, if not all, people can learn to do this. If a person follows Mrs. Verrall’s suggestions, as given in her account in the text, he will probably get writing, as she did, or if not writing, he may succeed with crystal gazing.
Writing produced in this state of abstraction, seemingly without the volition or knowledge of the writer, is called automatic writing, and the writer is called the automatist. Such writing may be done in the ordinary way, holding the pencil in the hand, or by means of the planchette. The planchette has various forms. In its simplest form it is a thin board on three legs with castors so that it moves very easily. The front leg sometimes consists of a pencil, and then the planchette is put on a piece of paper. If the front leg is not a pencil, the planchette is put on a board which has the alphabet printed on it In either case the hand is placed lightly on top of the planchette and questions are then asked of it. If the conditions are propitious, an answer will be written or spelled out even to questions of which the automatist knows nothing. In such cases the abstracted state of the automatist gives the subconscious ideas and inferences a chance to express themselves through the writing, and so correct answers may be given to things completely forgotten by the conscious mind, and much nonsense will also be produced.
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Suggestibility is a term applied to a condition in which a person is influenced to an unusual degree by suggestions or commands given to him. It seems to be especially characteristic of the hypnotic trance and abstracted states already referred to. By means of suggestion a person in any of these states may be made hyperesthetic to some objects and insensitive to others.
Amnesia is forgetfulness of what has happened in these states.
Various other terms used in the text are either self-explanatory or are defined when used.

Excerpts from page 25:
We have no doubt that the normal Mrs. Piper has little remembrance of the trance state, though we are inclined to assume the persistence of a feeling state of the trance into the normal, and we believe that events occurring in the sitting may later on pop up in the waking state, just as post-hypnotic suggestions seem to come into the subject’s mind spontaneously. On the other hand, we know that the control is shifty and deceptive on occasion, and we believe that he has far more recollection of the normal Mrs. Piper than he admits. We have shown that he has the same emotional attitudes in various cases, we have found the same distinct memories in a few instances, and we are confident that if he were sincere we should find more, though probably there is some amnesia, too. That is, the relation would seem to be somewhat the same as that between a secondary personality and a primary, in which the first has little or no knowledge of the second, but the second has some, though not complete knowledge of the first.

Excerpts from page 35:
To such theories the Spiritists are quick to reply that such eases as Miss Beauchamp prove nothing except that she was subjected to conditions adverse to spirit communication, that she really had mediumistic powers, but that they were killed by her course of treatment. If this means anything it means that the abnormal conditions leading to double personality are the conditions for mediumship. We can choose then between saying that all cases of secondary personality are mediums, or that all mediums have tendencies to secondary personality.

Excerpts from page 96:
Dr. Walter Leaf also tends in this direction. At first he inclined to think Phinuit a mere secondary personality, and describes some of his favourite tricks and evasions, but in 1903 he reached the conclusion that the evidence in the Piper case proved that “memories of the dead survive and are under special conditions accessible to us” through the secondary personalities of Mrs. Piper, but he is not sure that these memories are coherent enough to themselves deserve the name of personalities.
Even Mr. Carrington, who is now a believer in the grossest physical phenomena, says (Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. xvii, p. 337): “The whole case is one continuous series of glorious uncertainties; of doubts, suspicions, semi-convictions, more doubts and again uncertainties, leaving us dissatisfied with ourselves and wondering whether, after all, there is such a thing as Spiritism or no”. His predominant opinion at this time was that the controls were really secondary personalities, but ere now he has been convinced of their genuineness as spirits.

Excerpts from page 98:
Professor Richet believes that all may be explained as a case of secondary personality, as does Andrew Lang, and Fldurnoy says that outsiders can only wait patiently until the variations of opinion within the Society for Psychical Research are settled.

Excerpts from page 99:
Most recent of all in his investigations is Dr. G. Stanley Hall, who was present at six sittings, and was convinced that Mrs. Piper is simply a case of secondary personality. His sittings will be discussed in detail later.

Excerpts from page 187:
One of the most common things in a sitting is for the control to say that he will consider some problem and give an answer at a later sitting. Sometimes this extends over weeks or months, the problem being referred to every now and then. At the same time, the content of all sittings is most carefully kept a secret from Mrs. Piper and her daughters until they are published. Now, why is it not possible that the problems so set for the control affect the waking consciousness in some such way as post-hypnotic suggestions do, or perhaps better, why may they not emerge into waking life or dreams as is often the case in recognised cases of secondary personality? Ansel Bourne, for instance, had dreams of his first self long before he had any memory of it, and images and incidents of his first life would pop up in his mind as if uncaused, and were not recognised by him. Is it not possible that sometimes words, names, etc., from the trance thus pop up into Mrs. Piper’s mind, and if they catch her attention and rouse her curiosity she may speak of them or look up their meaning and connections?
This hypothesis of course could only be tested completely if some investigator could live in close personal relations with Mrs. Piper, and she was willing to think out loud as much as possible.
Whether this hypothesis is true or not, undoubtedly the lapse of time between asking questions and giving answers allows the subconscious mind to put together all its knowledge, to mull over the matter, and to guess and infer as to what is wanted. This easily accounts for the fact that the first sitting is usually the worst.

Excerpts from page 192:
Mr. Dorr has said that even if we succeeded in getting the controls to admit that they were only secondary personalities, it would prove nothing, since they are so suggestible that they would probably adopt any theory, whether it is true or not. The point is that the control’s assertions about his identity have no value one way or the other, and this perhaps is true. But if the sitter can make the control change his personality at will, sometimes being purely fictitious personages, and sometimes real ones, with as much ease and vividness in the one case as in the other, it certainly creates a strong presumption that the impersonations of real characters are also just impersonations and no more.

Excerpts from pages 216-217:
We have on record various cases of the birth of secondary personalities, such as Mrs. Verrall’s, described later, and Miss Beauchamp’s, described in Prince’s book, the “Dissociation of a Personality”. In such cases, the personality is at first very shapeless, and the utterances are fragmentary, nonsensical, etc. But by degrees, in response to the questionings of the sitter or of the person’s own self-consciousness, the secondary personality gives itself a name, and sometimes a birth place and family history, and when confronted with falsities and contradictions in its account of itself it shifts, evades, etc., very much as Phinuit did. But the point of especial importance here is, that the form which the personality takes depends upon the environment into which it has come, the attitude taken toward it by the person and her friends, etc.
We have already noted that in Mrs. Piper’s case her surroundings favoured strongly, the development of her secondary personality according to the spiritistic hypothesis, and that Phinuit was very similar to the control of the ordinary medium in his characteristics.

Excerpts from pages 219-220:
“God bless you!” exclaimed Miss Pope, the sitter. The hand then wrote, “I am Hodgson,” and when Miss Pope asked, “Is this my friend?” assented by rapping five times. Rector then explained that Hodgson could not stay longer this first time, and referred to a ring.
Thus the Hodgson control was born, and thereafter he appeared at nearly every sitting and rapidly gained coherence, though Professor James says frankly that he has not been able to give really evidential tests that it is Hodgson, and we have already seen that while in England, out of the sphere of Mrs. Piper’s possible knowledge, he did not recognise his own friends. If she could be taken to Australia probably the case would be still worse.
But just here I wish to emphasise the joy and belief with which he was greeted at his first appearance, and the fact that the policy has constantly been to seem to believe him. This has not been the case with most secondary personalities, nor even with some of the Piper controls. Phinuit was permanently retired, Pelham was doubted a long time. Sally Beauchamp fought stoutly for her existence before agreeing to commit psychic suicide.
This originally amorphous self then has, from the very beginning, been trained in the belief that it is a spirit manifestation, so that it is entirely possible if not probable that it itself accepts the belief. Such a hypothesis is naturally much more grateful to the secondary personality than Prince’s, with its consequent suppression and repression, because it exalts the subconsciousness and encourages its inroads upon the normal self. It does its best, therefore, to live up to the demands made upon it, not from any reasoned-out plan, but with the blind instinct of the most rudimentary life to grow, and expand, rather than painfully to remain inactive and atrophy. Nourished by the sympathy and suggestion of the sitters, it has grown apace, and it is an open question now whether the twenty-odd years of training have not given it so much memory and sense of individuality and independence that disbelief in it and discouragement of it would have little effect, even if they came from sitters of long standing.

Excerpts from pages 221-222:
She also feels that the conditions under which she was placed at this time were unfavourable to the best development of the trance. She and her husband were living with his parents, and her father-in-law was an ardent spiritualist, and urged her to go to seances and to develop her power. She thinks that the Phinuit personality came as the result of her surroundings. She never liked him, and this was one reason why she hated to go into the trance. She is uncertain what Phinuit was, but is sure that he was not a secondary personality. She thinks that perhaps he is some spirit who never was in the body, and who has little power on the other side. The change to the Pelham and Imperator personalities seems to have been coincident with her reaching the conviction that the trance was good, and that she was in truth a medium.

Excerpts from page 223:
In this connection, too, came up the question of secondary personalities, and the opinion that various people had held with regard to the trance. I said that I had not adopted the spiritistic hypothesis and did not know that I should, and there was considerable talk about the theory of secondary personalities.

Excerpts from page 225:
Dr. Hall also tried to hypnotise Mrs. Piper, who said she was very anxious to try it, but did not succeed.
At the end, reference was made to the attitude of many people, and especially of the Catholic Church, toward Spiritism. Dr. Hall told her that this church has been sending out lecturers against it as a special child of the Devil. This seemed both to disturb and anger Mrs. Piper, and, as the first sleepiness of the trance began to come on, she told him, in rather an angry tone, to bring “that priest” to see her. She also reverted to the theory of secondary personality, as if it disturbed her to think that I, or we, were inclined to it, and asked if, in that case, all these things were just her own self “cavorting around.” She also asked why her head always feels heavy when she begins to go into the trance.
[She began to go into the trance at 11:32 and her head dropped to the pillow at 11:41. At 11:42 the hand began writing without a pencil, “Hail,” and when given a pencil continued,]
We greet you once again with peace and joy. + (R.) (Is Hodgson there, or can you bring him?) Prudens will I’ll send him. Prudens.
[The hand then cramped violently to the shoulder, and wrote:]
Tell Hall I’m here again. Glad to see you. I am here the same Hodgson himself.

Excerpts from page 228:
(All right, Hodgson. My only doubt is whether you are not really Mrs. Piper’s secondary personality, and I should like to have you give me some proof that you are not.)

Excerpts from page 229:
[Dr. Hall thought that he was referring to the question of secondary personality and said something to the effect that he could not wonder that he was suspected, but the hand said,]

Excerpts from pages 233-234:
Comments on the Fourth Sitting
Our doubt of his identity had apparently rankled somewhat in R. H. ’s mind, and had put him on his guard to some degree. He begins here, therefore, his policy of ignorance, but with the inability that we should expect of a secondary personality to grasp the whole situation, he fails to see that there are some things which R. H. must know, and that his ignorance and insensitiveness must be self-consistent. For instance, it is absurd to suppose that the spirit Hodgson could give us no information at all about Mrs. Piper, while at the same time he could tell us about “Uncle Robert’s” lame leg, residence in Bay, accident, etc. His characteristic evasion of his mistake about my father is also in line with his attempts throughout the sitting.

Excerpts from page 254:
(Now, Hodgson, I want to talk to you a little. Wait awhile, and listen until I am done. Now, I am going to be honest with you and tell you that you have not convinced us that you are Hodgson. You are just Mrs. Piper’s idea of Hodgson, or else you are my old friend Borst Mrs. Piper is a remarkable woman to make you seem so lifelike and vivid, but nevertheless I am sure you are not Hodgson, but her secondary personality or else Borst You are not Mrs. William Piper but Mrs. Hodgson Piper, and I want you either to fade away into her or into Borst I transfer all the esteem and admiration I have felt for you to Mrs. Piper Second or to Borst. She is honest and honestly thinks it is you, but you are really only herself or else Borst, and you can take your choice which. Imperator and Rector are real, noble spirits, but you must confess that you are not Hodgson, but Mrs. Piper Second or Borst, and then you and I will say good-bye to each other forever.)
[In reply to this the control tried to divert us by referring to some private affairs totally unconnected with the sitting, to which Dr. Hall replied:]

Excerpts from pages 259-260:
Chapter XVI
Current notes by Dr. Wall
I begin to suspect that we can reduce her control, Hodgson, at least to a secondary personality or to a part, mood, or impersonation of Mrs. Piper, and perhaps make him confess that he is so. These controls are often entirely indistinguishable the one from the other; and he grows less Hodgsonesque during the progress of each sitting and is less so as the series of sittings proceeds. Is the control so suggestible that he can be made to fade into a mere state of mind of the medium, and even perhaps to confess that he is nothing more substantial than her trancoidal dream? Can this be done successively with all her controls? What is our responsibility for constraining them to commit this kind of slow suicide? Shall we be accessories to the crime of ghostly felo de se? Man can kill the body, but can a psychologist also desecrate souls? This very question almost suggests the awful second death of theology, and chimes in well with the theory that the soul survives the death of the body a while, but may itself go out later. Then, too, why should we lay these poor ghosts, who doubtless enjoy their rather pallid lives up to the full measure of their capacities? Perhaps, too, our process of extermination may not be painless but may involve suffering akin to slow poisoning, a surgical operation, or vivisection, and we shall need also to defend it from the sentimentalists as all in the cause of science, and especially for the sake of practical therapeutics. It is not exorcism of evil spirits, for that would be a duty, but these controls are harmless and innocent, if not highly meritorious and dignified, ghosts.
We have, however, slowly drifted to the conclusion that they are not real ghosts that survive death in some transcendental realm, but only pseudo or simulacral spirits; so that it is against these impostors that we prepare à l’outrance with our false ambuscades, strategies, springes, and traps; so that even if we are to be veritable assassins we yet are not red-handed, for our thirst is only for the gory ichor or blue blood in the Jenseits.

Excerpts from page 267:
As Spiritists regard exceptional phenomena in the psychic field today, just so primitive men regarded all unusual or unknown processes throughout nature. There is, in fact, nothing here save what we just now have no better name for than a parasitic secondary personality that sometimes asserts itself.

Excerpts from page 289:
With regard to verifiable statements, Mrs. Verrall admits very frankly that in some instances the statement may have come from her own subliminal self, she having forgotten that she had ever known it. This source of error, evidently, cannot always be eliminated, although there will be cases where from the very nature of the case she could not have known it. This connection or lack of connection of the script with the conscious memory is very interesting. For instance, the script refers frequently to a paper written by Mr. Verrall, and well known to her twenty-five years before, but almost forgotten, but through all the writing she has found only five references to recent events. References to things which she had read six, ten, or twenty years before and had forgotten are more common. In eight cases she finds a connection between the script and a certain very vivid sort of dream that she occasionally has, the writing personality connecting itself with the dream content.

Excerpts from page 301:
Theory of the Piper case
No theory which has to explain a personality can be simple if it is to be true. Nor can we expect in the present unsettled condition of both psychological and psychiatrical theory to offer any explanation which will be satisfactory to all specialists. We are also hampered by the fact that the phenomena which might normally appear in the Piper case are to some degree veiled by the spiritistic theory which has so largely shaped the trance personalities, and by the fact that we cannot experiment with the case nor urge the control of the waking self to confession as Freud is able to do in his capacity of physician. Nevertheless, I believe that from our own sittings and the published records a good prima facie case can be made out to show that Mrs. Piper’s controls and those of other honest mediums are but cases of secondary personality, and nothing more, a splitting off from the central self of a part which may take on almost any shape.
1. First let us review the development of this trance state, as far as we can get at it. In the cases of secondary personalities discussed by the Freud school, Janet, and Prince, and Sidis, although these writers differ considerably in various respects, all agree that the starting point of the split in the self appears to consist in some sort of shock, affecting a naturally somewhat unstable nervous system.

Excerpts from page 302:
Surely this coincidence between the heightened trance-power and the heightened nervous tension and physical condition is not likely to be purely accidental. In origin, therefore, the trance states of Mrs. Piper do not seem to be different from many cases of secondary personality cited by writers on that subject.

Excerpts from pages 305-306:
From this time on the conditions necessary for health, such as frequency and length of sittings, are set by the controls. As we should expect if the control is really a secondary personality and so very suggestible, these conditions are not always for the good of Mrs. Piper, but often reflect the desires of the sitter, and perhaps allow him to inflict even quite severe pain without remonstrance from the control. But when the control is left to itself, to its own narrow range of consciousness, it is hyperasthetic to various bodily conditions which would be unrecognised in the normal state, because the sensations would be submerged in the numerous other sensations streaming in upon the waking self. In such cases, therefore, the control might feel the developing symptoms of a disease, headache, etc., and might be able to give a warning and save the medium from the attack. In this case it would seem to the medium in the normal state and to the sitter to display supernormal wisdom, while when distracted by suggestions from the sitter it might be indifferent or callous to the medium’s interests.
The gradual reduction of the convulsions and the building up of the present symptoms on entering and coming out of the trance might, if we but had complete records, be shown to be the outcome of a continual give and take between sitter and medium, just as the symptoms appearing in any given hysterical case are built up in this way. As confirmatory of this we have Mrs. Piper’s own statement that the trance has never come on in sleep or when she was alone, just as any hysterical attack seems to need the stimulus of some one’s presence to induce it.
3. Again, a rich chapter for the student of suggestion lies in the creation of the characteristics of the various controls. Hyslop believes that one of the strongest arguments against the theory of secondary personalities is the fact that in Mrs. Piper’s case the personages are so varied, whereas secondary personalities are usually few in number.
This difference, however, seems to me to reflect only the difference in the milieu of Mrs. Piper and of the ordinary and admittedly abnormal case of secondary personality. When a girl first experiences such a change of personality her family is usually alarmed and calls in the doctor. They do not like the change, and they repress the new self as far as they can. The secondary self is discouraged from the beginning. Mrs. Piper, however, first entered the trance at a medium’s, in the presence of Spiritualists, one of them her father-in-law, with whom she was living at the time. They greeted her as a new medium, accepted the control as a genuine personality, and favoured the onset of the trance in every possible way. Naturally, the spirits would wax and grow fat under such conditions. As I have noted before, even when Hodgson was abusing Phinuit by exposing his subterfuges and lies, he seems never to have questioned his actual existence, and so in other cases. While particular traits or statements may have been severely snubbed and pruned, there was always plenty of encouragement to develop in other directions, which were indicated at least negatively, and often positively.

Excerpts from pages 311-312:
5. If the control is a secondary personality and nothing else, with the high suggestibility mentioned above, then we have a consistent explanation for the character of all its utterances. There is the same combination of high and accurate memory by the subconscious, with inability to carry on a train of thought alone for much time, that we find in secondary personalities. When the control is left to himself the writing begins to ramble, and finally becomes more or less incoherent, and stops, after he has made appeals to the sitters to speak to him. The very life of the control seems to depend upon his being stimulated by questions and suggestions. Again we, as well as others, have said that the control is lying and shifty, as are secondary personalities, but the case would probably be better stated thus: that the control, like all impressionable and untrained consciousnesses, tends to believe that any vivid idea is true, does not clearly distinguish between ideas and reality, and so confuses them in his assertions about them. To the control, the fictitious Borst and Bessie were really as genuine and vivid as any of the other trance personalities or spirits, and he was not lying in any true sense of the term when he related the spontaneous images that came up as if they were facts. He is also shortsighted and inconsistent, being apparently unable, if left to himself, to work out a rational scheme that shall make his claims somewhat plausible. So, on the whole, my impression of the control is that, instead of showing supernormal knowledge and wisdom, it is simply highly suggestible, and reacts to suggestions in the most delicate way. Instead of being reasonable it is stupid and inconsistent; its coherence comes from the sitter, what there is of it, and if left to itself it soon lapses into the incoherence of the idiot or animal.

Excerpts from pages 315-317:
Secondary personalities, therefore, present all gradations from the moods of the normal self down, and their intelligence is different from the normal as they become more integrated, since they are created from the material left over from or unused by the normal self. Just in proportion as psychiatrists are able to study such cases in detail, they find that the memories, associations, emotions, etc., manifested by the secondary personality are traceable to events in the person’s life which either seemed unimportant to the primary personality, or else were so inimical to it that it forced them out of its presence forthwith.
In cases where there has been no shock, and where the person voluntarily practises attaining abstraction, as in crystal gazing or automatic writing, either unimportant or long-past experiences are the ones most likely to emerge. Miss Goodrich-Freer, for instance, in many cases traced her crystal visions back to unattended-to sensations, and Mrs. Verrall notes that her automatic hand wrote accounts of things read twenty-odd years before, while quite neglecting the acquisitions of recent years. This is just what we should expect if a state of dissociation is really attained. But these very characteristics make the task of tracing the origin of such ideas difficult, so that while the presumption is that all the content of crystals or automatic writing is so derived, we can only demonstrate it in some exceptional cases, where the person either runs across objective evidence, or can be subjected to some psycho-analytic method or hypnoidisation in order to bring up the submerged events.
How, then, are we to summarise the case of Mrs. Piper? In her case we have, in the first place, the impressionable, impulsive diathesis, with tendencies to premonition, etc., which seems to favour the development of secondary personalities. We have also various nervous shocks, which would serve as occasions for the split, and in addition we have a systematic encouragement of such splitting, and as complete a severance of the secondary self from the primary as possible, both on the part of Mrs. Piper and the sitters. This latter factor probably explains why the secondary self has not enlarged and encroached upon the field of the primary self as time has advanced. The fact that the entrance to the transition stage from each self to the other is voluntary is paralleled in other eases of secondary personality, like Miss Beauchamp’s.
Furthermore, the characteristics of the control are much like those of other secondary selves, so that it would seem as if we could make out a complete parallelism between Mrs. Piper and other cases of secondary personality, the variations from other cases being no greater than those arising from individual idiosyncrasies.
At this point, however, the Psychical Researcher once more appears to assure us that we have not touched the Teal problem at all when we have proved that Mrs. Piper has a secondary personality. Let us grant, they say, that that is true. When she enters the trance a secondary personality appears. Even if this is so, they assure us, it only proves that it is easier for spirits to communicate through secondary than through primary personalities. The real question is simply this: Is there anything given in the messages which could not possibly have come from the mind of the medium, whether in its primary or secondary state, or the mind of the sitter?
To this question our conclusion is that there is nothing not so derived. There is no real evidence of supernormal knowledge. Let us briefly recapitulate the lengthy demonstration already given of this point in our discussion of sources of error and of test messages.

Excerpts from pages 319-320:
But the control does not know their origin any more than the sitter does, and can only say, “It came to me”. If, however, we could only subject Mrs. Piper to psycho-analysis or to hypnoidisation, is it not probable that we could find the origin of these cryptic sayings somewhere in her own life?
When we consider that out of the vast mass of published records only approximately 110 messages at all conform to the idea of “test messages”, and that, as we have shown in detail already, nearly all of these can be reasonably explained as the result of suggestions, lucky guesses, or inferences, we cannot feel that in their twenty-three years of work the controls have shown any great amount of perspicacity. When we add to this that in the cross-correspondence tests with Mrs. Piper the Researchers them-selves claim but 23 out of over 100 as correct, and that we have explained most of those 23 as the result of a common milieu, or of suggestion, we cannot consider the argument for supernormal knowledge much strengthened. Nor can the fact that during all these years the controls have given correctly the names of various sitters and their deceased friends, with facts about their family life, be cited as real evidence, for we have noted repeatedly that the records are too incomplete for us to judge such cases either for or against.
It is easy for us to understand that such things may be very convincing to the sitter, especially to the sitter who has recently lost a beloved one, and for all that may not have one particle of scientific value. The alleged entrance of any departed friend is well calculated to upset one’s calm judgment if one really believes in a personal immortality, especially if the death is recent, and when added to this the record of the sitting is imperfect, the general public should not be called upon to give credence to the claims of the controls.
I maintain, therefore, that even the “test messages” and the cross-correspondence tests of the Piper case, far from making out a prima facie case for some supernormal knowledge on the part of the controls, are emphatically against any such claims, and that the remainder of the content of the sittings is so imperfectly recorded that the Researchers have no right to present such sittings as of any serious value. To sum the whole situation up in a word, the entire content of the Piper messages can be referred (1) to the ordinary laws of the mind as seen in apperception, inference, etc.; (2) to a greatly heightened suggestibility; (3) to a modicum necessarily unexplained because of imperfect records.

Excerpts from pages 363-364:
This type of mind is not properly called the hysterical type, though it has perhaps some of those characteristics; it is closely allied to the mystical type; it has, perhaps, tendencies to secondary personality; as we have already said, it has vivid memories and images and emotions, and a strong tendency therefore to belief in their truth-bearing character.

Excerpts from page 364:
Our standpoint, therefore, in reading the evidence brought forward for telepathy, mediumship, etc., is not so much to an interest in the evidence as in the type of mind which displays such phenomena. We are desirous of getting back to the mental laws which have produced them, and be they only manifestations of lying, or of other things, our interest is about as great in the former case as in the latter. Suppose, for instance, it should turn out that Mrs. Piper’s subliminal self is simply a consummate actor that has been coached for twenty-three years in his various parts by all the Psychical Researchers, would not the disclosure of the details of this coaching and the workings of this mind, and its relations to the normal mind of the medium, be a thrilling chapter in the science of psychology! Or, again, suppose that all the phenomena of veridical apparitions, telepathy, etc., should be referable to the community of ideas existing between friends and people of the same type of mind, would this not be as valuable a fact as the assumption of telepathy! It would not gratify our taste for the marvelous, to be sure, but it might help us more in life.

Excerpts from page 378:
Not one of these assumptions will ever be capable of proof, while, from our standpoint, nearly all of the content of the published sittings is explicable on the theory of secondary personality, and the unexplained remainder cannot now be explained only because the sittings were too imperfectly reported.

Excerpts from page 379:
It is my belief that Spiritism and telepathy will soon be shown to be parallel cases. Thoughts have always been mysterious things to men, especially when they rise spontaneously and vividly, as in hallucinations and dreams, seeming to be independent of our own volition and to possess a life and will of their own. As long as their origin is not known, as long as they are not under the control either of the person in whose mind they appear or of the physician or psychologist, it is inevitable that many people shall consider them of supernatural origin and meaning.
But one by one we are controlling conditions. We no longer consider hystericals witches, and that is a solid gain. Many secondary personalities have been reunited, and many other incipient ones have been prevented from dividing, and, with increasing familiarity, such phenomena will be recognised as not opening the door to another world but rather to the insane asylum.

Excerpts from page 380:
The nerves, then, are far and away the most impressionable and plastic of all parts of the body, and at the same time they retain forever the changes produced in them. How this is done we do not know, but the traces thus left are called engrams, and it is supposed that engrams exist for every experience through which any one has ever gone.

Excerpts from pages 388-389:
In order to deprive Spiritism of its present influence, then — as well as various other modern superstitions — it is not sufficient to discredit it intellectually. No faith dies because it is unreasonable, but only because the instincts which it has satisfied find more complete and permanent gratification in other directions. Belief in spirit communication flourishes today, and mediums wax and grow fat, (1) because large numbers of persons have no one to whom they can confide their secrets and sins, to whom they can go confidently for comfort and encouragement; (2) because many people have today no adequate object — religious, scientific, or artistic — on which to expend love, reverence, and worship. These deep and basal emotions therefore manifest themselves in many abnormal ways, of which this is only one. But in proportion as man draws near to his fellow-man, and in proportion as he works for and with him, he realises that the “other side” can wait till the morrow, while salvation is here and now.
Physiology of the cerebral hemispheres. Lecture one.

(rus. “Физиология больших полушарий головного мозга. Лекция первая.”)
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov

(rus. Иван Петрович Павлов)
1911

1951
(printed in the book “Полное собрание трудов И. П. Павлова, Том V”)

2014
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov – Russian and Soviet scientist, physiologist, vivisector, creator of the science of higher nervous activity, the founder of physiological school, academician of the Imperial St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1907).
Known because he divided all physiological reflexes into conditioned and unconditioned reflexes.
Pavlov received the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1904, becoming the first Russian Nobel Prize winner.
After his death, Pavlov was turned into a symbol of Soviet science.

Pavlov meets the minimum requirements as a scientist, however this is not enough to consider Pavlov as the symbol of science, which should be put on a pedestal. Pavlov is a good example of how political propaganda inflates the importance of an unworthy person to the very heights.

Pavlov correctly criticized psychology for the fact that psychologists do not even have unambiguous basic terms, and that psychology does not meet the criteria of science.
However, Pavlov was incompetent in the exact sciences and his incompetent statements have caused great damage to the research of sleep and hypnosis, delaying scientific progress for centuries to come.
For example, Pavlov claimed that “natural sleep represents a general inhibition of the cerebral hemispheres”, which does not correspond to experimental facts, because dreaming requires complex calculations in the neural networks of the brain. No dreams can arise under total inhibition of the brain.
Pavlov claimed that during hypnosis “the cerebral hemispheres are not wholly embraced by inhibition, since certain points of excitation may be formed in them”, which does not correspond to experimental facts, because under hypnosis a man performs tasks that require complex calculations in the neural networks of the brain. For example, under hypnosis, induced positive and negative hallucinations are the result of complex calculations in the neural networks of the brain. Under total inhibition of the brain, neither positive nor negative hallucinations can arise. Automatic writing under hypnosis is again the result of complex calculations in the neural networks of the brain. Under total inhibition of the brain, automatic writing cannot arise.
Pavlov claimed that hypnosis of animals is stupor and paralysis from fear “of an overwhelming power, from which there is no escape in struggle or in flight”, which does not correspond to experimental facts, because hypnosis of animals is carried out in very calm and calming conditions.
Pavlov correctly criticized psychology for being unscientific, however about dreams and hypnosis Pavlov himself was talking the same blabber as classical psychologists do.

Below are excerpts from the book “Полное собрание трудов И. П. Павлова, Том V” (1951).

Excerpts from page 8:
Публикуемые в настоящем томе лекции И. П. Павлова по физиологии, читанные студентам второго курса Военно-медицинской академии (ныне имени С. М. Кирова), где И. П. Павлов с 1895 по 1925 г. заведывал Кафедрой физиологии, впервые включаются в «Полное собрание сочинений».
Лекции были конспективно застенографированы в 1911/12 и в 1912/1З учебных годах П. С. Купаловым, и большая часть текста, расшифрованная и обработанная им. была издано в 1949 г.
Ввиду многочисленных ошибок и искажений предыдущего издания лекций, текст их для настоящего тома «Полного собрания сочинений» заново просмотрен П. С. Купаловым и тщательно сверен им со стенограммами.
Кроме того, в настоящее издание включены дополнительно впервые расшифрованные разделы: «Физиология желез внутренней секреции» и «Физиология теплорегуляции». По остальным разделам физиологии записи оказались утраченными.
Публикуемые лекции не были просмотрены и завизированы И. П. Павловым. Содержание разделов «Физиология центральной нервной системы» и «Физиология больших полушарий головного мозга» отражает начальный период гениального творчества И. П. Павлова по высшей нервной деятельности. Исчерпывающее изложение его учения об условных рефлексах — высшей нервной деятельности — представлено в I II и IV томах настоящего издания «Полного собрания сочинений».

Excerpts from pages 489-491:
Физиология больших полушарий головного мозга
Лекция первая
Субъективный и объективный подход к изучению деятельности больших полушарий. — Преимущества объективного метода. — Понятие об условных рефлексах
<…>
Если вы, обращаясь к сложной деятельности животного, хотите стать психологом, то вы прежде должны задать себе вопрос: что же, психология представляет собой нечто прочное, хорошо разработанное и производит впечатление своими успехами? Вопрос совершенно законный. Ведь если я оставляю свои физиологические понятия и беру понятия психологические, то мне нужно знать, есть ли для меня в этом смысл. И вот, если я поставлю такой вопрос, то положение дела меняется. Психология, оказывается, сама находится в очень жалком положении, сама ничего не имеет и плачется о своих методах и целях. Чтобы вам не показался мой отзыв о психологии односторонним и пристрастным, я вам скажу сейчас о ней словами психолога, который ее знает и который в нее верит. Передо мной статья, напечатанная в американском журнале за 1910 год. Статья под заглавием «Психология и её отношение к биологии». Написана она молодым психологом Иеркесом, работающим в психологической лаборатории в одном из лучших американских университетов — Гарвардском. Вот что он пишет о своем предмете, говоря при этом о том, что наболело у многих психологов. Я перевожу: «Не менее расходятся взгляды на предмет и тех, кто сами работают по психологии. Что же ожидать от предмета, таким образом трактуемого? Мы наверное не можем надеяться на быстрый и постоянный успех и не будем его иметь до тех пор, пока не сговоримся относительно целей и базиса нашей науки и не определим точно наших научных понятий. Не менее важно, чем это, — согласие относительно основных понятий и отношение психолога к своей работе. А между тем мы лишены твердой веры в наши цели, методы и наши способности. Мы лишены энтузиазма; мы разделены и разъединены; мы колеблемся в наших целях; мы не доверяем нашим методам и научным допущениям; мы задаем себе вопрос о важности каждого шага вперед. И как неизбежный результат этого наш предмет лежит поистине только на пороге царства науки». Это слова человека, любящего свой предмет, верящего в психологию.
Так зачем же нам обращаться к такой науке, у которой нет никакой почвы, которая не имеет у себя ничего прочного и полна сомнений и о своей цели и о своих методах? Я лучше обращусь тогда к такой науке, которая не знает колебаний, где нет разговоров о методах, где все согласовано, к науке, которая идет от одной победы к другой.
А потом, вы посмотрите. Ведь понятия психологические и естественно-научные чрезвычайно различны. Физиологу надо сделать огромное «сальтомортале», если он хочет обратиться в психолога. Основная форма, в которой протекает научная мысль, это форма пространства и времени, так что предметы и явления изучаются в известной последовательности и в известном расположении одного относительно другого. Понятия психологические также существуют во времени, но они не пространственны. Разве то, что обозначают эти понятия, имеет форму и может быть представлено в каких-либо взаимных пространственных отношениях? Ничего этого нет. Понятия психологические совершенно отличны от понятий естественно-научных. Здесь у меня объем, масса, форма; в психологии же этого нет, в ней совсем другая манера думания.
Смотрите дальше. В естественных науках все дело сводится к отысканию причины и связи. Физик ли, химик, они непременно озабочены тем, какие явления предшествуют данному явлению и какие пойдут после него. У психологов же такой заботы нет. Ведь как обыкновенно решается вопрос о том, с чем мы имеем дело — с человеком, животным или с растением, предметом мертвой природы? Мы говорим о первых: захотело, вздумало, вспомнило, обрадовалось. Но скажите, — а почему же оно обрадовалось, почему оно вспомнило, вздумало, захотело? Для физиолога без уяснения этого ответ «вздумало» — пустое место, а психолог удовлетворяется этим ничего не говорящим словом. Я полагаю, что вам теперь ясно, что психологическое думание и думание естественно-научное капитально различны. И если я вижу, что психология, с одной стороны, так безнадежна и шатка как наука, а с другой стороны, она так отличается в методах изучения от естественных наук, то мне нет никакого смысла оставлять физиологию и идти к психологии. При решении вопроса о том, как мне поступить при изучении центральной нервной системы, вся логика, вся практичность на стороне испытанного естественно-научного метода, который не уперся в тупик, а неудержимо движет предмет вперед. Физиологам как естествоиспытателям нужно бросить эту психологическую субъективную точку зрения. Они должны всегда обращаться только к методу естественно-научному и смотреть на свой предмет так, как физик и химик смотрят на свои предметы.

Excerpts from page 494-495:
Примеры условных рефлексов вы уже видели в начале курса, мы их вам покажем и еще несколько раз. Вы увидите, что можно получить массу раздражителей, действующих на слюнную железу. Для простоты мы берем один орган — слюнную железу. Причины этого исключительно методические, а по существу можно получить условные рефлексы на любом органе. В числе условных раздражителей вы увидите такие, которые никогда не действуют на слюнную железу в обычных условиях. Связь между этими раздражителями и слюнной железой сделана искусственно нами самими. В условиях же жизни животного совершенно гак же, но с другими связями, подобные условные рефлексы делает сама природа, например рефлекс на запах пищи и т. д.
Таким образом вы видите, что оказалось вполне возможно трактовать огромный ряд явлений с чисто естественно-научной точки зрения, не прибегая к психологическим понятиям. И понятие об условном рефлексе совершенно совпало с тем, что думали раньше о низших рефлексах. Рефлекс — это закономерная реакция животного организма на внешний мир при посредстве нервной системы. Разница же между ними та, что первые рефлексы постоянны, а условные — временны. Другими словами, животный организм связан с внешним миром постоянными связями. Если животному попадет в рот что-нибудь, то у него будет постоянно течь слюна — это одна связь. Но этим не исчерпываются связи организма с внешним миром. Есть другая связь, когда известный агент, влияние связываются с организмом временно, причем связь эта происходит и зависит от определенных условий. Для этого необходимо, чтобы этот раздражающий, действующий агент совпал несколько раз с раздражителем постоянным.
Смысл существования таких временных связей наряду со связями постоянными вполне понятен. Через это совершенствуются, утончаются отношения животного к внешнему миру. Животное получает возможность реагировать на явления более тонко, приспособляясь к самым разнообразным условиям. Животное встречается в своей жизни с массой внешних явлений, как постоянных, так и изменчивых, и если бы у него не существовало механизма образования временных связей, которые могут быть в любое время созданы и уничтожены, то отношения животного к внешнему миру не были бы тогда так совершенны.
Spiritism and psychology
Theodore Flournoy

(French Théodore Flournoy)
1911
Théodore Flournoy was a Swiss professor of psychology at the University of Geneva. He is the founder of experimental psychology in Switzerland. In 1901, Flournoy founded one of the oldest psychological journals – “Psychological Archives”(Archives de Psychologie). He wrote books about parapsychology and spiritism.
Flournoy did not recognize the religious dogma that the spirit is some kind of “cloudlet”, which can travel via air, which can fly from one geographical location into another.
However, Flournoy admitted the likelihood of the existence of telepathy, clairvoyance, telekinesis and believed that a natural scientific explanation for these phenomena could be found.

Excerpts from pages vii-viii:
Preface
One or two words may not be out of place as to my reasons for writing a book of this character. I believe that scientific investigators – physicians, physiologists, psychologists – have made a great mistake in neglecting for so long the so-called supernormal or metapsychical phenomena, under the pretext that there is nothing to be found but illusion or charlatanism, and have left its study exclusively to spiritists, theosophists, mystics, and occultists of all kinds. Fortunately, today it is almost like forcing open a door which is already open to insist upon the necessity of seriously occupying one's self with this subject, since the official savants themselves have ended by perceiving that there is here a realm worthy of serious investigation, whence issues unexpected light as to the nature of the constitution of our being and the play of our faculties. It will be a great day when the subliminal psychology of Myers and his followers and the abnormal psychology of Freud and his school succeed in meeting, and will supplement and complete each other. That will be a great forward step in science and in the understanding of our nature.
Spiritism, as I understand it, is a complete error. The facts which I have been enabled to study at first hand have left me with the impression that, despite certain superficial appearances which the man in the street accepts as conclusive, these phenomena are not spiritistic in reality, and one would be greatly deceived if he accepted them at their face value.
The greater part of these phenomena are, without exception, easily explained by mental processes inherent in mediums themselves and their associates. The state of passivity, the abdication of the normal personality, the relaxation of voluntary control over the muscular movements, and the ideas –this whole psycho-physiological attitude, where the subject is in the state of expectancy of communicating with the deceased – strongly predisposes him to mental dissociation and a sort of infantile regression, a relapse into an inferior phase of psychic evolution, where his imagination naturally begins to imitate the discarnate, utilizing the resources of the subconscious, the emotional complexes, latent memories, instinctive tendencies ordinarily suppressed, etc., for the various roles it plays. This is what we might call the psychological theory of mediumship, as opposed to the diabolic theory held by Catholic theologians and the spiritistic theory of the intervention of the dead.

Excerpts from page 68:
III “Deceiving spirits”
The object of this chapter is the analysis of some of the mediumistic communications which I have gathered in the course of my inquiry in order to show that they are a pure product of the subconscious imagination of the medium working upon memories and under the influence of latent ideas of various kinds. (I do not pretend to say that this generalization can be universally applied; I only say that those cases which came under my own personal observation, and which spiritists attributed to “deceiving spirits”, were only the work of the subconsciousness of the medium.)

Excerpts from pages 71-72:
However, if we can prove that the message actually came from the medium himself there is no longer any necessity of appealing to the “spirit world” for our explanation of this fact. To attribute, i.e., to a deceiving spirit – as the spiritists often do – lying communications which could be explained by the disposition of the subject is to sin against the methodological principle, which does not allow us to multiply causes without necessity. However little we may find in a medium to account for a message, we must assume that it comes from him, and not postulate an outside intelligence operating through him... And if spiritists insist that they may appeal to deceiving spirits in spite of all this, they abandon the scientific platform to which they so constantly appeal, in proof of their evidence... Naturally, conditions such as those required to prove the case are seldom realized. The value of the following cases, therefore, lies in the fact that this, their true genesis, has been practically traced and shown to be due to normal psychological processes. With this I pass to an account of the cases themselves.

Excerpts from pages 91-97:
1. Deceiving Messages of Obscure Origin.—Spiritists naturally attribute to bad or frivolous spirits the lying communications of which they are the victims, not being able to admit that they may be the product of their own natures, since they have not the feeling of being their author. The psychologist, on the contrary, has but little hesitation on this point, knowing how the penumbra of our consciousness is always bristling with small interests or emotional ideas, hardly noticed – fears, desires, regrets, wishes, suspicions, remorse, scruples, memories, and psychic elements of all kinds, which the every-day affairs of life suppress, but which are ready to surge upward and become organized in obsessions, more or less personalized, however little the individual believes it to be so or knows of it. The lying communications, apparently inexplicable, of which so many novices complain (and which finish often in disgusting them with mediumship) have probably no other source.
2. Imaginary Reconstruction of the Dead.—The mediumistic creations with which we are here concerned are again not deceiving in the eyes of the spiritists, when they recognize in them the clearly authentic presence of their discarnate relatives and friends; but they remain fatally so in the eyes of the psychologist, for whom the pretended “spirits” are only (until proved to the contrary) imitations, sometimes very successful, of people whom the medium had known while living.
This reconstruction of the dead is only an extension of our habit of forming concrete notions of the personality of others, a tendency springing from the necessity of social adaptation, and which can be applied just as well to the absent as to the present. If we had not this innate faculty, which is developed by experience, of representing to ourselves the psychic character of our fellow-creatures and of foreseeing their reactions, we would never be able to hold any social intercourse with them. The eclipses or imperfections of this faculty constitute what is called “want of tact”, the art of doing “foolish things”, etc. We might say that we possess within ourselves a complete gallery of portraits, more or less exact, of all those whom we have known directly (parents, friends, etc.), or by hearsay (historical and literary persons, etc.), or in imagination (creations of our imagination, ideals, heroes of personal romances, etc.). But these portraits are not set and inert. These personalities live in us; we cause them to act and develop in accordance with their own particular characters, in the situations, real or fictitious, in which we have placed them in our imagination. If such-and-such a person is “there” – my friend John, who is traveling, or my father, who is dead, or Mr. Pickwick, etc. – I represent to myself what he experiences, what he would think, would say, would do, etc., under certain conditions and circumstances. It is clear that this passion for reconstructing the absent is carried beyond the door of the other world, and the cases of Mme. Zora and Mme. Dupond have shown us with what ease the thoughts of the spiritists can invent and pursue even into the beyond the history of those whom they believe to have “passed over”.
These mediumistic representations or imitations exercise upon candid and open natures, which are at the same time the cause and the victims, a seduction much greater than in other individuals. … More convincing still to them are the cases in which the deceased retain their judgment, and express ideas, sentiments, wishes, etc., directly contrary to those of the medium. How can we suppose that this is not a real spirit?
[Here follow two cases in which this opposition is manifested by the intelligence doing the automatic writing to the ideas of the medium. In the first case a father orders his sister-in-law, who has charge of his little girl, to follow a line of action contrary to her express desires. This case Professor Flournoy accounts for by the supposition that the medium's subconsciousness expresses the views which she supposed the father would take were he still alive. In the second case, directions were given by the father of Lucien, the brother of the before-mentioned girl, which were contrary to those of the medium, but which he insisted upon and were so like himself in their characteristic features that his advice was taken. The explanation offered by Professor Flournoy in this case is similar to that of the last—the motives of the deceased were postulated by the subconscious imagination of the subject and externalized in the form of automatic writing, etc.]

Conclusion

The observations contained in this chapter have thrown a considerable light upon the capital role which the two following factors play in the genesis of deceiving messages: First, the existence of latent emotional complexes in the marginal regions of consciousness, and, second, their capacity for representing foreign personalities. Although very different in nature, these two factors compliment each other in a marvelous manner, and constitute the principal elements in the reconstruction of the deceased. This is quite obvious in the case of Mme. Dupond. It is clear that for the general activities of our nature to give birth to such special phenomena as are called spiritistic communications it is necessary to have a particular condition – viz., a certain state of passivity, of mental inertia, of abdication of self, in the expectation of strange interventions – which constitutes the state of mediumship. It is a state of obscure regression or of partial auto-hypnosis (capable of being developed into a total trance), whose dominant trait is the loss of all feeling of initiative or of psychic causality, so that the play of the imagination, which is unfolded in the sanctum sanctorum of our personality, and of which one has the consciousness of being more or less the author, appears to the medium to have a reality and an origin independent of himself.

Beneficent Spirits

After deceiving spirits, beneficent spirits! If I separate them from the former it is not because the name is any more accurate in the latter case, but they do not lie as to their real function; they help, they encourage, they free from difficulties, they protect, often even, they save life. For the rest, when by chance they miscarry or commit an error, they are relegated to the class of deceiving spirits, so that the honor of their group is always safe. In tradition and the popular language of the spiritists they carry all sorts of names – spirit protectors, angel guardians, good geniuses, familiar demons, spiritual guides, etc. In our scientific jargon, barbarous and pedantic, we call them teleological automatisms; or, more exactly, they represent events psychologically superior to teleological automatisms, since they form, often, a secondary personality, more or less complete, which includes everything from happy inspirations to simple reflexes. There is, indeed, when one considers it, a scale of “unconscious finality” which constitutes the mystery, par excellence, of life, and the greatest problem of philosophical biology. Between the contraction of the pupil, under the stimulus of light, or the projection of the arm following the stumbling by the foot, and the apparitions to Joan of Arc of the saints which dictated to her the extraordinary messages of instruction, or her wonderful responses to the theologians who had decided to ruin her, we find all the intermediate stages. The rubrics which follow only respond to some categories of cases and are far from exhausting the subject. Although proceeding, for the most part, from non-mediumistic persons, the following observations illustrate psychological processes which are common in mediums, and which would infallibly have given place to a spiritistic interpretation with subjects or in circles given to spiritism.

Excerpts from pages 115-117:
Forgotten memories, returning at a favorable moment, repartees which are a propos, and which surprise us ourselves, suppressed after-thoughts, inexplicable hesitations preventing us from action, or, on the contrary, obscure impulses which we are glad we have followed, good ideas, illuminating thoughts, inspirations of genius which flash into our heads and bring us unexpected help; in fact, all that we call “tact”, “presence of mind”, “inspiration”, or “intuition”; all that is at the basis of teleological automatisms and fill our whole lives – the study of all this is well worth the most painstaking research and analysis.
Here, for example, after having sought a book in my library, I am about to leave my room to see if I cannot find it in another room, when something holds me back. Instinctively I return toward a little table, and my gaze falls immediately upon the book in question, lost amidst others of the same color. The latent memory of this misplacing of the book came, then, subconsciously to direct my steps and my gaze to this place. From what time dated this memory I cannot tell; perhaps for some moments, since I had looked at this table in my useless search, and I overlooked the book, confusing it with its neighbors; perhaps some weeks, for I alone had placed the book there (though I do not recall it) . These two hypotheses which exist fundamentally side by side – cryptoesihesia (latent perception) and cryptomnesia (latent memory), deal with actual ideas which, not noticed directly and of themselves, act, however, and are translated into consciousness by means of the phenomena with which they are associated – inhibitions, or motor impulses, images and ideas, emotions, hallucinations; – it all depends upon temperament.
If I were, however, a little imaginative, hysterical, a poet, unbalanced, a genius, or a medium, the insignificant adventure which I have related would, without doubt, assume the proportions of a psychic phenomenon more or less important. I should – e.g., have heard a voice say to me, “Seek on the little table”, etc. Or I should have seen arise before me a distinct image, quite recognizable, of the table containing the lost volume; or I might have seen this in a dream; or, better still, by means of the crystal ball the image would have appeared to me as an exterior vision in the glass ball. ... Or again, my “guardian angel”, clothed in white, would appear before me and forbid my leaving the room, and would have brought me by the hand to the aforementioned table; or, perhaps by typtology or automatic writing it would have dictated to me where the looked-for object rested. But this interpretation appears to me, until proved to the contrary, arbitrary and superfluous. The facts with which it deals are explained much more simply by some cryptopsychic process with which imagination has mixed its customary appearance of spiritism. Some unpublished examples will enable the reader to judge for himself. I divide them into three or four headings, which have many points in common.

Excerpts from pages 120-121:
2. Phantasmagoria Induced by Internal Sensations. — In the same manner as in external perceptions, so can internal sensations (visceral, cenesthesic, organic, etc.) serve as points of departure or inducers of automatisms apparently supernormal, as in dreams, said to be prophetic, of sickness or of cure, which are only a dramatized expression by the imagination of the sleeper of vital processes already begun in the depths of the tissues and of which we are unaware in the distractions of the day's work. These hallucinatory phenomena are more rare and much more striking outside hypnogogic hallucinations, etc.

Excerpts from pages 122-124:
In such a case the spiritists have no doubt that it is the deceased father himself who came to comfort his daughter in this grave condition, and it does not astonish them, either, that this apparition should clothe himself for her in his blue coat; or that the father was more familiar than the patient herself with the physiological processes which were about to take place. Psychologists, stumbling at this double singularity, consider it more plausible to see in this hallucinatory scene a dramatic combination of long-forgotten auditory memories, some description formerly heard, then completely forgotten, toward which the thought of his daughter would be turned in the crisis through which she was passing.(1)

(1) Every one knows with what facility descriptions which we read or hear set on fire the visual imagination, and are translated into representations more or less vivid. These concrete representations once born may subsist in the latent memory and reappear, even when one can no longer remember the occasion which first of all provoked them. “A lady of my acquaintance”, wrote Doctor Prince, “gave me a very exact description of a person whom she had seen in a dream, whom she had never met in reality. She had completely forgotten that I had described that person to her a few days before. The description which she gave me after her dream was an exact reproduction of mine, and in the same terms!” (Morton Prince, “The Unconscious,” Journal of Abnormal Psychology, vol. iii, October, 1908, p. 265.)

3. Cryptomnesic Revelations. — The following section treats of cryptomnesia in so far as it vitiates the greater part of the phenomena of spiritism, but it is convenient to speak of it here as a source of teleological automatisms, which convey to the subject valuable information already in his possession, but of which he is ignorant. The classical example is that of dreams which enable lost articles to be found, showing the sleeper the place where he had forgotten he let them fall. If this happens to a person with a bias toward spiritism he will probably attribute this vision to his “guardian angel”, so much so, indeed, that the latter will probably intervene, in the vision, and indicate by a gesture or voice, if not by some more complicated mediumistic manifestation, the place where the misplaced object lies (see, e.g., the example of the lost breast-pin in From India, etc., pp. 403-406). The psychologist explains the phenomenon in a more natural manner, contending that the loss of the object – of the stone of a ring, e.g., not remarked by the self, momentarily abstracted or absorbed in other distractions – has, nevertheless, been perceived by indirect vision, and registered in the subconscious, where it reissues in sleep, or in some other hypnoidal state.
There is, I admit, something paradoxical in the fact that an incident so important as the loss of a precious stone does not strike the attention of the individual, while subconsciously impressing him enough to be clearly remembered and be recalled. And certainly the teleological organization of this individual would have been more perfect if instead of returning to him in a dream the completion of the incident had occurred immediately; he would then only have had to bend down and pick up the jewel, and this would have spared him the chagrin of finding that he had lost it, and the trouble of looking for it. But, on the spiritistic theory, the paradox is not less true. Why did not the good angel who saw the jewel fall have the consideration immediately to warn the owner instead of letting him re-enter the house and lament until the night? Ce n'est pas gentil! And it seems to me more respectful, not only toward the methodological principle of economy, but also to the reputation of good spirits, not to attribute to these latter the imperfections which are inherent in our own nature – lapses of memory, mental dissociations, etc.
Among the varieties of cryptomnesia I give a case of latent knowledge which the subject knows himself to have possessed, but which he cannot recover; and the unexpected revival is attributed by his imagination to the intervention of a strange personality.

Excerpts from page 131:
The analysis of the details of this curious dream shows, however, that they could be traced back to latent memories or to natural inferences of the savant.

Excerpts from pages 132-135:
I should say, to be indefinitely tossed between the obsolete conceptions of “unconscious celebration” (dear to materialism) and the daring hypotheses of the “transcendental subject” of DuPrel, of the “Subliminal Self” of Myers, of “the Unconscious” (omniscient) of Hartmann, etc. Let us follow rather the example of the physicists, who study the fall of bodies and celestial movements without concerning themselves with the nature of gravitation. Things happen in this material universe, they tell us, as if bodies were attracted to each other according to such and such laws, of no consequence elsewhere. Whether they really are attracted, or whether they are really the passive playthings of an exterior pressure, is another question. Let us content ourselves by saying, in like manner, that things happen in the mental life as if we possessed in ourselves an intelligent “incubator”, which continues to hatch out ideas and answer questions which we have confided to its care; a laboratory wisely administered, in which the ingredients placed within it are allowed to simmer and are elaborated into new products, according to our ideas and our designs.
It is immaterial whether we call this precious institution by the name of nerve-center or subliminal imagination or anything else; the important thing for us is to know the influence exerted upon its functioning by the state of the health, the former meditations, the time elapsed, the distractions or occupations, etc. In default of precise information, which is still lacking, we know at least one law of common experience. It is that every one reaps only what he has sown. The harvest varies enormously, without doubt, according to the individual soil; but, apart from these differences of fertility, we may say that all brains – brains of geniuses or mediocre brains – render to their owners the same kind of service, that of maturing what has occupied the conscious thought and provoked voluntary reflection.
Agassiz formed no exception to the rule. Before having the vision of his fish he had worked fifteen days in vain upon its fossil remains, and it appears from his account that this problem pursued him during the period of incubation (the duration of which, unfortunately, he has neglected to indicate to us). This only shows that even the most brilliant intelligences, in the ordinary course of events, obtain nothing without effort – which is another way of expressing the empirical law above mentioned. ... It is only with the spiritists that we find the true marvels of incubation – or rather of its absence.
Our mediums indeed reap what they have not sown, and it is not in thinking of it all the time that they make their discoveries, but, on the contrary, by not thinking of it at all ! ... Let us ask the authors of mediumistic writings which come to light each year what part they have played in them besides their function as a writing machine through which the spirits operate. They will reply that their inspirations came to them not only without effort, but without any preparation or antecedent cause. Voilà! We must agree that this is truly marvelous, and beyond all ordinary conditions of mental production. And the spiritists certainly reason according to the most elementary common sense when they attribute to discarnate intelligences the authorship of these revelations, to which the organism of the medium is quite foreign, and has simply served as a channel or passive instrument. The libraries of modern spiritism are choked with works of all kinds – philosophy, science, literature, verse and prose, which have been composed in this way; and if I began to quote I should not know when to stop – from the dictations of the Angel Gabriel and of Christ Himself to a group of Geneva spiritists more than half a century ago; to the recent discourses of Abelard (the lover of poor Heloise), written by two ladies of the best Parisian society; to the “Spirit Teachings” which Rector, Imperator, etc., gave to Stainton Moses; the Spiritualisation de I'Etre of Mme. Darel, the posthumous book of Dickens, the revelations of Mrs. Smead relative to Mars and its inhabitants. ...

Excerpts from pages 139-140:
The “Divine Revelations” at Geneva in 1854
When the great spiritistic epidemic raged over Europe in the middle of the last century Geneva was by no means spared. The only monument which exists as a memory of this fever is a collection of communications from Christ and his angels, obtained by means of the table by a little group of ministers and professors, with their families. This volume, of a mysticism quite orthodox, but insipid and foolish enough to give one nausea, seems to be a bad conglomerate of pious sermons of the epoch of the Renaissance. If we did not know how spiritistic practices are apt to lead astray the investigators’ heads, as well as their tables, one could never understand how intelligent people, respectful of religion, dared to publish such mediocrities, giving them out as “Words of the Saviour”, “Hymn of the Angel Gabriel”, “Song of Love of the Son of God for His Church”, etc. ... Psychologically, this rubbish has only interested me as an example of the low level of degradation which frequently characterizes mediumistic productions – they reflect the ideas and the sentiments of the circle and the environment, but in an inferior manner and form, and indicate a relapse into the condition of childhood.

Excerpts from pages 142:
To sum up, before admitting the true supernormal origin of the automatically revealed “Spirit Teachings” of Stainton Moses, we must first of all be sure that he himself was not capable of elaborating them subconsciously. To my mind, he was quite capable.

Excerpts from pages 148-149:
What are we to conclude from the various examples which have been passed in review? I will not deny dogmatically and a priori the possibility of works being really composed by spirits – that the automatists only transmit such books to us (with or without the mixture of their own nature). But it seems to me prudent before affirming the reality of the fact to expect that we may at least have some examples furnished us which are truly proved to be beyond all suspicion – I do not say of voluntary fraud, but simply of subconscious incubation which is perfectly natural. And, provisionally, I prefer to believe that all the manifestations of spirits which reveal themselves through a medium are, in the last analysis, but the response of the imagination to his secret preoccupations and to the desires, sometimes unconfessed, of his heart.

Excerpts from pages 185-186:
I conclude that, even supposing that communication with the discarnate be established, there is almost no chance at the ordinary spiritistic seance to obtain such messages from the spirit world; invariably they issue from the subliminal consciousness of the medium, which elaborates these messages and gives them to us in personalized form. This is why the innumerable groups who sit stealthily around a table only exist on account of their ignorance of the elementary facts of our nature. ... It is probable that the day will not be far distant when meetings of this character will cease to be, or be merged into distinctly scientific groups of experimenters, though doubtless much of the charm and piquant thrill would thereby be removed. ... But I have already expressed my views on this question in another place (From India to the Planet Mars, pp. 423, 424) and I cannot do better than to quote what I then said:
“I fear ... for mediums and practical spiritists that, when their hypothesis shall have been scientifically demonstrated, the result may be very different from that which they now imagine it to be. It might well happen that the cult of the table, automatic writing, séances, and all other mediumistic practices, may receive their death-blow from the official recognition of spirits by science. Suppose, in fact, that contemporary researches should at last have proved clearly that messages actually come from the discarnate; it has already followed from the same researches that, in the most favorable cases, the veritable messages are very difficult to distinguish from those which are not authentic. When people come to understand that this sorting of messages is almost always beyond their power they will, perhaps, be put out of conceit with experiments in which they have ninety-nine chances against one of being duped, by themselves or others, and in which – a still more vexatious matter – if they should even be so fortunate as to light upon the hundredth chance they would have no certain means of knowing it.”
We hardly see people seeking for gold in the sands of the Arve, though there is some there, nevertheless, because “the game is not worth the candle”, and no one would care to move so much mud for the sake of seeing a problematical glitter at the end. ... In like manner ... it appears to me probable that spiritistic practices will lose more and more their charm in proportion to the extent to which science shows us the rarity of authentic messages, and the impossibility of recognizing them once received. But it is true that to children paste will always produce the same illusion as veritable jewels.

Excerpts from pages 188-189:
VI Spirits and Mediums
When, ignorant of the phenomena of automatism, one is introduced to some spiritistic group, and witnesses for the first time the phenomena of table-tipping or automatic writing, one usually experiences a disagreeable feeling of suspicion, the idea that there must be some practical joker present who moves the table without appearing to do so, or that the pretended automatic writer is trying to make fun of us by asserting that he is not responsible for the scribbles of his pen. Soon, however, by the repetition of the séances, complete conviction is gained of the honesty of the participants and of their indubitable sincerity, and – perhaps, also, by reason of personal experience – one arrives at the certainty that there is neither trickery nor deception. And as these phenomena have a certain sense, express ideas, manifest sentiments and intentions, in short, reveal the presence of intelligences and personalities like our own, we are compelled to admit that we have to deal with minds – and minds different from any of those present, since none of the latter recognize themselves as being the authors of these graphic and unexpected communications, obtained by means of typtology (table-tipping). It was, doubtless, in this manner that the belief in the existence of spirit communications was founded, which was brilliantly represented in Europe scarcely two generations ago by the philosophy and the writings of Allen Kardec, the founder of French spiritism.
One might say that the doctrine of this author – the attribution of mediumistic messages to spirits is the perfectly logical conclusion from two very simple premises, viz. – First, that all intelligent phenomena have intelligent causes, and, second, that the messages furnished by a medium cannot proceed from the medium himself or other persons present, since neither he nor they have any consciousness of being the authors of them. Curious to remark, Allen Kardec believed it necessary to insist upon the first, as if upon a principle which he thought it his duty to proclaim constantly.(1)

(1) See the epigraph which he placed at the head of his Revue Spirite, and which figures there to-day: “All effect has a cause! All intelligent effect has an intelligent cause ! The Power of the Intelligent cause is in proportion to the grandeur of the result!”

... The great question for Allen Kardec, as for all spiritists, was, of course, to ascertain who these various spirits were who communicated through his mediums in the circle. For Kardec and his disciples they were spirits of the dead – the discarnate. For the different theological schools, occultists, etc., they were other inhabitants of the Beyond – superior, sometimes inferior, even foreign to our human nature – angels and demons, elementals and elementaries, astral shells and larvae. But no sect has as yet thought of ephemeral spirits, born at the moment, and neither pre-existing nor surviving the duration of their period of active manifestation. For whence come they? It would be too irrational to have them arise from nothing through a spontaneous creation, soon followed by annihilation; and as for making them issue from the medium himself by means of some psychodynamic process of which he was unknowingly the cause, that would be precisely contrary to the axiom that we cannot be the author of anything if we have no knowledge of being the author.
Unfortunately for the reasoning employed by these spiritists, this supposition – of the simplicity of the self and of its identity with the consciousness which it has of itself – is out of date to-day. Since the time of Allen Kardec the discoveries of positive science have completely disproved this theory, and shown us that the “self,” whatever it may be, is composed of a multiplicity of elements instead of being a simple metaphysical monad which Kardec assumed.
Let us recall, briefly, the progress which we have made in half a century in the study of our human nature and its astonishing complexity.

1. First, we have the experiments in hypnotism. These have taught us that a perfectly sane subject placed in a certain special state can, without preserving any memory when restored to his normal state, play the most varied roles to perfection and with an ease which one would never have expected of him. At the least suggestion which is made to him he becomes, in turn, a little girl amusing herself with her doll. Napoleon I. giving his orders of battle, a wet-nurse feeding a baby, and a lion ready to spring upon its prey, etc.; all this is too well known to need restatement. Now, no one, so far as I know, even among the most obstinate followers of Allen Kardec, has ever contended that the other world was implied in these phenomena of personification (or objectification of types, as Richet called them), and that this was truly the spirit of Napoleon, of a wet-nurse, of a lion, etc., who returned to inspire the words of the hypnotic subject!
But then if such is the case, how can we be sure that the pretended manifestations and messages from the Beyond which fill the séances are not simply manifestations of the same order – productions of the imagination of the medium, suggestions created by his environment? ... I do not pretend that the whole of spiritism can be accounted for by this theory of imitative responses to suggestion; it may be that spirits can employ this passive s