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HYPNOIDIC STATES OR RESURRECTED LIVES
HYPNOIDIC states consist in the recurrence of outlived phases of the patient’s personal life. The hypnoidic state, when it occurs, forms a complete and distinct individuality, the upper consciousness of the patient being removed. Memories, which the upper self is unable to recall and which seem to be altogether effaced, suddenly arise to the surface of consciousness as the upper layers of mental activity are removed. The hypnoidic state differs from hypnosis. In hypnosis, the removal of the waking consciousness is followed by a state of high reflex suggestibility, which is characteristic of the indefinite nature of the secondary self. In the hypnoidic state, such suggestibility is absent, because another quasi-personality emerges, having a more or less definite character, a personality which is often not amenable to direct suggestion. By means of indirect suggestion, however, it is possible to remove this personality and replace it by another, which may again be treated in the same way.
In hypnoidic states, the sense-organs are closed to the impressions of external stimuli; the patient does not perceive what goes on about him; his hallucinatory or “visionary” environment relates to the past. If by chance any impressions reach the patient, they are worked into his present “visionary” experience. The patient hears nothing of the conversation going on about him, and does not reply when spoken to on subjects not relating to his resurrected life experiences. He only replies to questions relating to the experiences through which he is at that time passing. His replies are to the thoughts awakened within the present active subconscious moment, or in very rare cases he seems to converse with some persons appearing to him as present in the hypnoidic state. On awakening from the hypnoidic state, the patient clearly recalls the events of his “vision,” but cannot recognize them as experiences of his past life. He does not remember, however, any of the answers which he was induced to give. It is only what occurred spontaneously in his visions and which was a faithful reproduction of his past experiences that is remembered with even an extraordinary distinctness.
The hypnoidic personality is of an unstable nature, and left to itself, tends to disappear and fall back within the depths of the subconscious regions. The hypnoidic personality, however, is in closer contact with subconscious life than is the waking self. The former possesses experiences and memories of which the upper self is quite ignorant. We find here a more or less systematized association of clusters and constellations of moment consciousness, dissociated from the main stream of personal life and not synthetized within the principal moment of self-consciousness. These dissociated moments emerge to the surface of mental life at regular or irregular intervals. In other words, clusters and constellations that have been split off from the main aggregation or rather organization of collectively functioning clusters and constellations of moments, under favorable circumstances, especially when the principal organization of constellations is “inhibited,” emerge to the light of day and become active, their activity being manifested in the phenomena of hypnoidic states. The well-known case of Dr. Mesnet’s may be taken as a good illustration. I quote from Dr. Mesnet’s account:
“F——, 27 years of age, sergeant in the army of Africa, received, in one of the battles preceding Sedan, a bullet wound, which fractured the left parietal bone. The ball, fired obliquely, made a wound eight or ten centimetres in length, parallel to and about two centimetres below the temporal suture. At the time he received the wound, F—— had still enough power to overturn with a bayonet thrust the Prussian soldier who attacked him, but almost at that instant his right arm became paralyzed, and he was obliged to abandon his weapon and make his escape from the conflagration and the storm of balls which rained down on the village of Bazeilles. He was able to proceed about two hundred metres, when his right leg also became paralyzed, and he lost all consciousness. It was only after the lapse of three weeks that he recovered his senses, when he found himself in Mayence, whither he had been transported by a Prussian ambulance.
“At this period the right hemiplegia was complete, the loss of motion absolute. Six months later he was taken to France, and was an inmate of various military hospitals in Paris, the paralysis continuing about a year. Nevertheless, he recovered.
“He suffered, however, from attacks of abnormal states, during which the general sensibility was completely extinguished. The muscular sensibility is preserved. Hearing, smell and taste are sealed against any impressions from without. Sight yields only vague impressions. The sense of touch persists, and seems to acquire delicacy and an exaggerated impressibility.
“The activity of F—— is nearly the same during his attack as in his normal condition, with the exception that motion is less rapid; he moves about with open eyes and a fixed gaze; if he is directed against an obstruction, he strikes against it slightly and turns to one side; whether it may be a tree, a chair, a bench, a man, or a woman, it is nothing more to him than an obstacle, the character of which he does not recognize. He appears like a pigeon whose cerebral cortex has been removed; and still he lives in a world of his own. Thus he was promenading in the garden, under a grove of trees, when someone put back into his hand the cane which he had let fall a few moments previously. He felt for it, turned his hand several times around the curved handle of the cane, became attentive, seemed to listen, and suddenly cried out, ‘Henri!’ then, ‘There they are! There are at least twenty of them to the two of us! We shall get the better of them!’ and then, carrying his hand behind his back as if to get a cartridge, he went through the movements of loading his musket, crouched at full length in the grass, concealing his head behind a tree, in the posture of a sharpshooter, and following with his gun at his shoulder all the movements of the enemy.
“On another occasion he came across the handle of a drawer; opening it, he took up a pen; he began to ransack the drawer, taking out and placing on the table several sheets of paper, and also an inkstand. He then sat down and commenced a letter, in which he recommended himself to his commanding officer for his good conduct and bravery, and made an application for the military medal. As he kept on writing, the page was withdrawn, but he remained disconcerted and terminated on the third sheet the line commenced on the preceding, continuing from the exact point where his pen was placed. We took away successively, and in the same manner, the third sheet, then the fourth, and arrived at the fifth; he signed his name at the bottom of the page, when everything that he had written had disappeared with the preceding sheets. We saw him then turn his eyes toward the top of this blank page, read over all that he had written, giving a movement of the lips to each word; while at various times he made with his pen, in different places on this blank page, here a comma, there an e, at another place a t, following out carefully the orthography of each word and correcting them to the best of his ability; each one of these corrections corresponding to an incomplete word, which we found at the same height and the same distance on the sheets of which we ourselves had possession.
“On completing the letter he went into the garden, where he took from his pocket a book of cigarette paper, opened it, and detached a leaf from it; then took out his tobacco and rolled a cigarette with the dexterity of one who is accustomed to this proceeding. He searched for his match-box, lighted his cigarette with a match, which, falling still burning upon the ground, he extinguished by placing his foot upon it.
“This first cigarette terminated, he prepared to smoke another, when we stepped up and began to interpose obstacles. He held a fresh sheet of paper in his hand, ready to receive the tobacco, and he searched vainly in his pocket for his tobacco, as we had filched it. He searched for it in another pocket, going through all his clothes until he came back to look for it in the first pocket, when his face expressed surprise. I offered him his tobacco-pouch, but he did not perceive it; I held it near his eyes, yet he still did not perceive it; even when I shook it just in front of his nose, he did not notice it. But when I placed it in contact with his hand, he seized it and completed his cigarette directly. Just as he was about to light the cigarette with one of his matches, I blew it out and offered him instead a lighted match which I held in my own hand; he did not perceive it; I brought it so close to his eyes as to singe a few lashes, yet he still did not perceive it; neither did he make the slightest motion of blinking. He lighted another match, when I blew it out and offered him one of mine, with the same indifference resulting on his part as before. I brought it in contact with the cigarette which he was holding in his mouth, but even when I burned the tobacco of his cigarette he did not notice it.
“On another occasion, he appeared to look for his buttonhole bouquet, noticed his ribbon of the military medal, and appeared satisfied. He nimbly descended the stairway which he daily frequented, traversed the court of the hospital with the air of a man of business, and went toward the gate of exit. Arrived there, I prevented his passage and turned his back to the gate; he allowed this without any resistance, and then started off in the new direction I had given him, and, in groping about, entered the lodge of the doorkeeper, which opened into the hall where we were.
“At this moment the sun lit up with a bright ray a glass window that closed the lodge on the side toward the court. He seemed to be not at all insensible to the brilliancy of this ray, which probably caused him an illusion of vision, by bringing forward a sensation in keeping with the idea he had in his mind. This ray must have given him the impression of a footlight, for he at once placed himself before it, readjusted his toilette, opened the roll of paper which he carried in his hand, and softly hummed an air, running his eyes over the pages as he slowly turned them, and marking with his hand a measure that was perfectly rhythmical his then he sang aloud, in a highly agreeable manner. When he got out of this state he was like one awakening from a deep sleep or from a state of unconsciousness.”
This remarkable case of Dr. Mesnet was utilized by Huxley for the purpose of supporting by facts from mental pathology his theory that mental processes, even of a highly complex character, could be carried on in a purely automatic way without the least interference of consciousness. The mental-like processes can be performed without the least spark of consciousness. This, according to Huxley, is true not only of the poor automaton, the soldier, but also of animal and man in the perfect normal state. The mind has absolutely no influence whatever on our life and actions, not any more than the whistle has on the movements of the steam-engine. The mind, like the whistle, is a by-product. Mesnet regards this case as one of pure automatism, and he describes the case on the theory that all the actions of the patient are of a purely mechanical nature, without the least presence of consciousness.
A closer analysis reveals the fact that Mesnet himself does not strictly adhere to this point of view. The facts flatly contradict it; the very language he uses in describing the phenomena is saturated with psychological terms and concepts based on psychic experience. A few instances will suffice for our purpose. The patient could perceive his own match when lighted, but could not see that of others. This is hardly a mechanical relationship of a light stimulus to nervous activity; it is one of personal selection of stimuli. From a purely physical stand-point, a match, as a match, does not differ in its actions and effects whether it is mine or yours. Again, when a stick was put into the patient’s hand, he passed through a series of complex hallucinations, as if he were living over his war experiences, attacking his enemies or hiding from them. On another occasion, he seems to look for his sheets of music, and when a roll of paper is put into his hands a new hallucinatory state develops—he lives over his experiences as an actor and singer on the stage—he sings and acts before an imaginary audience. Under the proper suggestion he could write letters recommending himself to his superiors. When the paper is withdrawn, he looks up with surprise, continues writing on the next pages; and when the letter is finished on the different sheets of paper, he makes corrections on the hallucinatory letter. Surely all these facts and many others of the same character clearly indicate that the patient lived in a hallucinatory world of his own. Moment by moment the soldier lived over his past life, not in memory, but in recurrent sensory experience. The patient, like the dreamer, lived in his own world en rapport only with himself. The states are essentially hypnoidic in character and are of the same type as found in the Hanna case, when the patient lived through his former life in the form of intense sensory experience.
The hypnoidic states, as I have pointed out, arise from the depth of the subconscious and pass through the cycle of their former life. Arising, though, as they do, under the influence of external stimuli, they themselves, as psychic tracts, are independent of the external environment in fact, the stimuli act simply as mere suggestions. A roll of paper recalls experiences of theatre, the singing of birds revives experiences of mountain climbing. The hypnoidic states are detached, dissociated moments; they come and go without leaving a trace behind them. These disaggregated moments consciousness partake of the character of embryonic secondary personalities, and as such belong to the category of multiple personality.
The hypnoidic personality is extremely unstable, and when left to itself tends to disintegrate. As pointed out in my book, “The Psychology of Suggestion,” the hypnoidic personality tends to vanish as soon as it goes through in an abridged form the cycle of its existence. The following cases worked by me in my laboratory, with the assistance of Dr. H. Linenthal, may be regarded as typical of the, resurrected lives of the hypnoidic personalities:
Mr. R., a man of fifty, well developed and well preserved. Has never had any serious illness except an acute attack of rheumatism some years ago. He is a businessman and does not impress one as a neurotic. He is, on the contrary, very phlegmatic, a calm, calculating business man. He complains of a tremor in his hands, which becomes worse when he is doing something. His writing is illegible. When carrying a glass of water to his mouth, his hand shakes so much that the water spills over. This tremor, he tells us, he has had for eight years or so; it has been coming on gradually, but is getting worse now. He is ashamed to come among people on account of this trouble. He cannot give any definite time of the onset of the tremor. When asked what he attributes the tremor to, he says it is due to a good deal of worry. When asked about his dreams, he said that they were rather pleasant; all about gaining money.
An examination proved the patient normal in all other respects.
Mr. R. was put into deep hypnosis. He was asked: “Can you tell us the exact conditions and the time when you first perceived the tremor?” “Yes.” “When was it?” “It was on the day my wife died. The nurse came in to me from the sick room and told me that my wife was dead. I then noticed for the first time that my hands were shaking violently.” “Do you have any dreams?” “Yes.” “What are they?” Here followed a long series of dreams which he related one after another, localizing each dream more or less definitely in time.
All the dreams related to his dead wife. He frequently dreams that she comes to his bedside dressed in white and cries bitterly, bemoaning his fate that he is so wretched and is left all alone in the world. He has all kinds of fanciful combinations of dreams in which his wife is the principal figure. He dreams, for instance, of her coming to life again, of his living with her for several years and then losing her again. These dreams, he tells us, excite him greatly; he is thrown into convulsions during his sleep, and frequently shakes so much that he is thrown out of bed. All these dreams are completely forgotten in the morning.
The scene while the patient related these dreams was pathetic in the extreme. While recalling these sad dream-experiences, he seemed to live them through again; he was convulsed with sobs, tears were flowing from his eyes, and his features indicated the most intense suffering and anguish. There was a complete transformation of his personality. The waking Mr. R. was different from the hypnotic Mr. R. as any two individuals can possibly differ. The former is a phlegmatic, calm, calculating business man, having no room in his mind for anything else except business, talking of nothing else but business worries and money matters. Mr. R. in the hypnotic state is transformed. We no longer have before us a business man of fifty. We see before us a childlike soul displaying a most intense human emotion, a soul most intensely yearning for a lost beloved companion. All business is completely forgotten not a mention is made of money.
To take another interesting case,1 worked by me with Dr. Morton Prince and Dr. H. Linenthal: Mr. M., 21 years of age, Russian, came to this country four years ago. He is an intelligent young fellow, has never been ill; has very good habits. The patient was referred to me by Dr. K. M. Davidson, of Boston, for epileptiform attacks on the right side of the body, of which he gave the following history: About five years ago, when 16 years of age, he attended a ball in his native town. After midnight, he was sent out to look for a ring which the lady whom he accompanied had lost on the way. While searching for the ring he had to pass near a cemetery, and got frightened, as it seemed to him that someone was running after him. He fell down and was picked up in an unconscious condition and brought home. He could not tell what happened during his fall or on which side he fell. For a week he was confined to bed, suffering from spasms on the right side. The spasms consisted of rhythmical shaking of the head, of the right hand and right leg. The whole right side was paralyzed and anaesthetics. Since then the attacks set on periodically about once a year, they come about the same time in the year, and begin about midnight. During last year, however, he had four attacks.
Two weeks after his last attack he was referred to us. On examination the following phenomena were observed: The patient was still affected on the right side, so that he was not sensitive to any form of sensation, such as touch, pain, smell, sight, hearing and taste, the left side being fully normal. He could not tell anything about his dream life; he has ordinary dreams.
Though the patient is insensitive on the right side, still it is possible to show that his subconsciousness perceives what his upper consciousness has lost. If the patient is made to look into a glass of water with a light reflected in it, and if his right limb is touched ever so lightly, he sees in the glass a visual hallucination of the number of impressions in the symbolic form of a written numeral. The same holds true in the case of letters, words and objects impressed ever so lightly on his insensitive skin. In fact, the patient manifests an extreme acuity of the senses in the subconscious regions. The hallucinations symbolic of impressions of another sense, when projected on a screen, could be outlined by him, so vivid were they to the patient.
Mr. M. was then put into hypnotic state. He goes into deep somnambulism. In this state he tells us that during the attacks he keeps on dreaming about the fright, fall, and about his illness. In short, he lives the same original experience over again in his subconscious dream life. While examining him during trance, we happened to call attention to his anaesthesia. Suddenly, as if by the wand of a magician, his present personality disappeared from view and the old personality of the accident emerged. Mr. M. went into one of his attacks, living over the same period of his life in Russia. He ceased to understand English and was carried back to his sixteenth year. He cried out in great agony, as of one frightened to death, squirmed and twitched and began to shake. “What happened to you?” we asked. “I fell down,” he exclaimed in his native jargon; “I got frightened.” He then passed through the movements and shaking characteristic of the attacks. When asked where he was, he answered, “At home.” “With whom are you now?” “With my mamma.” When the attack ceased, with a shudder, he literally came to himself, his present personality returned, and on our question, “Where are you now?" he promptly replied, ‘At the doctor’s.”
In this somnambulic state a whole series of outlived and long ago subconsciously buried personalities could be resurrected from their sleep and be made once more to appear in the light of the upper consciousness, each personality having its own chain of memories and peculiar traits of character, but each time, as the sixteenth year personality was resurrected, the typical attack developed with automatic regularity, like a wound-up clock.
The following case of my own may be taken, like the previous ones, as a striking example of hypnoidic states in dream consciousness and of their effects on waking life: Mrs. A. is 22 years old; Russian; pretty, intelligent, and rather emotional; married; came to me on May 28, 1902. She suffers periodically from attacks of violent headaches, lasting several days. Family history is good, parents are alive, and never suffered from any physical or mental diseases.
Mrs. A. is very nervous; she is easily frightened and suffered from headaches and pressure on head for quite long time, but the pain became exacerbated some years ago. The attack is sudden, without any premonitory feelings, and lasts from eight hours to two days. The headache often sets on at night, when she is asleep, and she wakes up with frightful pain. At the time of the first attack she was very much run down. Patient is otherwise in good condition, but complains that her memory is getting bad. Patellar reflex exaggerated. Field of vision normal. The eyes show slight strabismus and astigmatism, corrected by glasses, that did not, however, in the least diminish the intensity as well as the frequency of the headaches.
Mrs. A. suffers from bad dreams and distressing nightmares, the content of which she cannot recall in her waking state. She also often has hallucinations, visions of two women wrapped in white, pointing their fingers at her and running after her. She never had any fall, nor any special worry or anxiety; never suffered from any infectious disease. After a persistent inquiry, however, she gave an account of an accident she met with when a child of eight. Opposite her house there lived an insane woman of whom she was mortally afraid. Once, when the parents happened to be away, the insane woman entered the house and caught the child in her arms and greatly frightened her. Another time she was sent out by her parents to buy something in a grocery store. It was night and very dark; she bought the things, but on the way back she saw two women in white with hands stretched out running after her. She screamed from great fright and ran home.
Mrs. A. is very much afraid to remain alone, and especially in the dark. She is not afraid so much in the street as in the house. The two women appear to her now and then, and she is mortally afraid of them.
Mrs. A. was put into hypnotic state. There was marked catalepsy; the eyes were firmly closed and she could not open them when challenged. Suggestion of general well-being was given and she was awakened. On awakening, she could not remember what had taken place in the hypnotic state.
Next day she was again put into hypnosis and went into a deeper state than the day before. When asked whether she thought of the crazy woman occasionally, she replied in the negative. The patient spoke in a low, suppressed voice, the words coming out slowly, as if with effort and with fear. It was then insisted that she should tell one of her recent dreams. After some pause, she said: “Last night I had a bad dream; I dreamed that I stood near a window and a cat came up to the same window; I saw it was ‘crazy.’ I ran away; the cat ran after me and bit me and scratched me. Then I knew that I was crazy. My friends said that there was no help for me. I dropped the baby, ran, and jumped downstairs. I remember now that when I fell asleep I saw a woman, maybe it was the crazy woman. I covered myself; I knew I was only afraid and that she was not real. Six weeks ago I saw the same woman, when falling asleep or when asleep; I ran away and she ran after me and wanted to catch me.” Mrs. A., in relating these dreams, shivered all over and was much afraid, as if actually living the dream experience over again. “It was this woman who caught me in her arms and kissed me and embraced me and did not let me go until my screams brought friends and my father and they took me away from her by force.”
Gradually some more dreams emerged. “I dreamed sometime ago that the woman came to me and spilled hot water on me. Another time I dreamed I was in the insane asylum; she came out, told me she was well; I was greatly frightened and ran away.” Mrs. A. then remained quiet. After a while she began to relate a series of dreams. Some time ago she dreamed that the woman entered the room where her father was and ran up to him, evidently with the intention of hurting him. Her father ran away and she hid herself in a closet in the next room. “I also dreamed that the woman was shadowing me in an alley. She wanted to get hold of me, while I tried to get away from her. I turned round, and she gave me such a fierce look. It was so fierce. I ran. She could not catch me. I should die if she catches me.” Mrs. A, shivered. “Are you afraid of her?” “Not now, she is not here. I did not dream of the woman much before, but some time before my marriage I began to dream of her quite often. In one of my dreams about her I saw people putting cold water on her, and I could hear her scream. It was awful! I dreamed I went upstairs, opened the door and met her face to face. I was badly frightened, but I could not run away, so I jumped out of the window. If I could only not dream about her!”
A very rich subconscious dream life was thus revealed, a life of which the patient was totally ignorant in her waking state. The dreams referred to the same central nucleus, the shock of her early childhood. These dreams gave rise to intense states of fear and agony. “Some time when I dream I feel something in my head; some pain.” The dreams occur between 11 at night and 4 in the morning. After the dream Mrs. A. is afraid to get up in the morning and feels greatly disturbed by her dream experience.
“Sometimes I dream that a big black lady stands near me and is ready to attack me.” Mrs. A. could not continue the account of her dreams, as it set up in her an intense emotional disturbance. “Once a year I must dream about her. I dream that at least once a year I have to dream about the woman.”
When Mrs. A. was fully quiet and felt well, some more dreams came up. “Once I dreamed that I had my baby in my arms and the woman entered the room; I got frightened; I could not run away; I tore my dress. The woman said she would not hurt my baby; that she would like to talk to the baby. My husband came in. She petted me and then it seemed that I fainted; I do not know.
“I dreamed many times that I was crazy; I screamed and cried and everybody was afraid of me. As soon as I wake up I forget the dream. I am, however, quite sure of being crazy while I dream. I often dream of crazy cats and mad dogs attacking me. Sometimes I dream of going lip a big, big mountain, and then roll down a precipice, where there are horrible people, some kind of devils, who crowd around me, grinning and laughing loudly. They are like crazy people, mad devils.”
At this point I asked the patient while in the deep hypnotic state to give a complete account of the insane woman who seemed to have played such an important rôle in Mrs. A.’s life.
“The insane woman was the wife of a minister; I now remember that she once told my mother that when still a young girl she became insane and that she was taken to a magician, who cured her by some powerful charms. She then married and was very much distressed by the fact that her husband did not permit her to wear the charm given to her by the magician. The woman became insane while she was in our house and was very violent. One of those horrible devils so violent looks just like her. I remember she told my mother that she had two children and that in her dream two women wrapped in white came to her and asked her to give them her children's clothes. She gave away the clothes and that is why the children soon died. I was afraid very much that the women in white should come to me, and I often dream of them. I do not believe in it, but some time in my dreams I am afraid of them. I am afraid that they will come, and when they come I get frightened to death." In telling her dreams, and especially the history of the woman, the patient spoke in a suppressed voice, as if choked by tears and mental anguish. She kept the hands folded on her breast, and when I tried to separate them and have them hang down or lie by her side she resisted it, as if it was a matter of life and death to her. “I am afraid; I don’t like to keep my hands down. She may come from below and catch me by the hand; I always keep my hands folded on my breast; when I go to sleep I do not want her to catch my hand.” Mrs. A. began to shiver from fright, keeping the hands closer to her body. It was then insisted that she must not be afraid, while she was in the hypnotic state.
A further attempt was made to obtain some more dreams as soon as the patient was quieted down.
“I have dreamed so many years of meeting her that I am also afraid at daytime. It is foolish, but I am afraid.”
She again became quiet. A suggestion was then given to her not to be afraid now, in hypnosis. Mrs. A. could not remember any other dreams. After a while some more dreams began to emerge.
“The woman tried to take my baby away from me. I got hold of a great big knife and defended my baby. I was taken to prison because I killed, and they took my baby away from me. It was so awful! I was very tired when I woke up. I dreamed the woman came to me; I thought she was well, but she suddenly became crazy. I am very much afraid now of a crazy person, and I am still more afraid in my dream.”
Mrs. A. stopped again. Soon began to emerge, just as long-forgotten experiences suddenly occur to the mind. Once the barrier is broken down or the threshold is lowered, the dreams come in groups and follow in quick succession.
“I dreamed I was bathing and suddenly the woman appeared and took away my clothes; I was very much frightened. The woman wanted me to go with her and promised to return the clothes. I ran into the water, away from the woman; wanted to drown myself; I could feel the water covering me all over; I must have groaned aloud as my husband awakened me from this nightmare.”
The next dream that emerged referred far back to her early youth. “When a child I slept with my sister, and used to have many bad dreams. Used to see the crazy woman and also the two women wrapped up in white sheets with stretched hands coming after me.” Mrs. A. is mortally afraid of the two women. They also come to her when she is fully awake. She often sees them in the dark. They are both of the same size. “I cannot see their faces, as they are wrapped up, but I can see their forms. They look like the two women of whom the insane woman used to speak. When a child of twelve, I saw them clearly; when sent by mother at night to go to a grocery store I had to pass the fence of a little garden; I could see them quite plainly. They were wrapped in white sheets; their hands were also wrapped up, and they stretched them out toward me. I could feel my hands shake. I ran. When near the house I screamed and ran in. For a long time I was fearfully afraid. I think now it was a day-dream, but even now they seem to run after me, and I am afraid to turn around. Sometimes, in going upstairs in the dark, I feel their presence and can occasionally see them, but I am afraid to look long at them. I run from them as fast as I can.”
While relating these experiences, Mrs. A. kept her hands close to her body. “I want them near me; I am afraid.
“When 12 years old I came to this country, and for some time the dreams did not trouble me; I had no dreams about the woman or about the two women wrapped in white. I suppose because I thought they were far away, but then the dreams returned.”
The delusion of the insane woman long gone by has been transmitted to Mrs. A. as a visual hallucination. The headaches were the expression of the hypnoidic states about the insane woman. Association of these hallucinatory hypnoidic states with the upper consciousness cured the headaches.
1 Published in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, June 23, 1904.