So much is said in occult and mystical literature about the power of thought and the radiation of mental energy that the student is often misled in understanding just how these radiations manifest themselves and how there really can be any radiations at all.
To thoroughly understand the power of thought without resorting exclusively to psychological principles, we should turn first to physiology and understand that all nerve energy is electrical.
This fact immediately opens the doorway to a vast field of research and incidentally to a vast field of speculation. Too many writers on occult and mystical literature, who are not properly trained in the real principles, delve too deeply and too freely into the field of speculations regarding the nature of nerve energy, and too casually or too superficially into the field of research.
In other words, such writers or students are profoundly impressed with the scientific statement that nerve energy is electrical, and with this fact as a premise or stating point begin to speculate wildly and illogically, and therefore come to all sorts of erroneous conclusions. The real conclusions, which should be the result of their proper reasoning, are far more interesting and surprising than the speculative ones.
It was Mesmer who discovered a method of proving the ancient mystical principle that all nerve energy is electrical. Up to this time this principle had been taught in the schools, and Mesmer was a deep student of mystical work in his country.
But, some society in their laboratories had ways and means of proving that a nerve impulse was an electrical impulse.
Mesmer wanted to prove that they caused or set up in the field around them certain vibrations of an electrical or magnetic nature. If Mesmer were living today, he would not have to resort to the involved methods he used to establish the fact that every electrical impulse sets up an electrical or magnetic field of radiations.
There are thousands of experiments recorded in the annals of the science of electricity showing that in recent years this fact has been well established. Many wonderful electrical devices now in use depend entirely upon the principle that an electrical field surrounds a point of electrical impulse; and if this were not so, we would have no telephones, radio, or many other things in common use.
However, in Mesmer’s time the science of electricity was not greatly advanced except in the laboratories of the mystic, the alchemist, and the free-lance investigator who was not bound by traditions or principles of science; therefore, many things now common knowledge in electricity were not known.
Mesmer believed that if the nerve impulse in the human body was electrical in nature, then more than just the physiological manifestation would result from such an impulse, and there would be put into operation some secondary impulse or radiation of the original impulse which would move outside of the human body.
In other words, he came to the conclusion that if the nerve energy in the human body was directed and concentrated to points in the fingers, then in addition to merely producing a physiological effect within the finger, a secondary effect in the nature of radiations of that energy would result, and this secondary effect would tend to radiate or move outward from the point or place of the original impulse.
This led him to believe that there would be radiations from the ends of the fingers in the form of very subtle waves of power or energy which could be detected by sensitive persons or perhaps sensitive instruments.
It is not my intention to review the experiments of Mesmer, although these will be found intensely interesting to every student of mysticism, especially inasmuch as Mesmer was greatly misunderstood by the average person in his time, and absolutely condemned as a fraud or a person self-deceived by the scientists and those who were not ready to accept his discoveries.
It was unfortunate, indeed, that Mesmer’s early experiments took on the form of such test of these radiations as were soothing and quieting to the nervous systems of other persons, and caused them to go to sleep or to go into a quiet, peaceful, relaxed condition.
We know today that such conditions as this not only quiet the nerves and cause a sleepiness, but tend to cure nervous troubles and establish a condition of harmonium in the body where disease and pain are lessened. That is the reason why so-called magnetic healers have been able to produce such wonderful effects by the use of their hands, and this explains why many of the great masters in the past, and especially the Essenes, were able to do such wonderful healing by the laying of hands.
However, the ignorant populace became fearful of this sleeping condition, and compared it to some strange coma or trance condition that might come to the patient.
They wrongfully believed that if the “magnetic fluid” which emanated from the end of the fingers of Mesmer or other persons could produce a light sleep or a peaceful condition, that a little more of such fluid or a continuation of such treatments might cause them to go into a very deep or endless sleep. Such a continuation was absolutely false and groundless, as we know today, but in Mesmer’s day fear and superstitious beliefs, based on ignorance of facts, were always easily developed in the minds of persons and adopted as truths without investigation.
Therefore, Mesmer was accused of having devised a method of inducing trance or deep sleep. This condition was called MESMERISM, and later was likened unto hypnotism, whereas in fact there was no relationship to hypnotic sleep in anything that Mesmer really did. Because his experiments were dubbed and considered wrongly in this manner, the scientific and medical worlds ridiculed him, and his work had to end with disgrace to himself and to the ideas he tried to establish.