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THE PROCESS OF MENTAL RESURRECTION
THE process of mental resurrection or of reverse procession of psychic states, from the periphery of inattentive consciousness to the focus of consciousness, can, in fact, be fully substantiated by observations in spontaneous somnambulism as well as by experiments in the hypnotic state. The following brief account of spontaneous somnambulism may serve as an illustration:
All the phenomena reviewed by us, the phenomena of psychopathic anesthesia and those of sensory and motor automatisms, such as crystal gazing, shell hearing, automatic writing and automatic speaking, can be reproduced artificially by hypnosis in our laboratories, provided the subject falls into a deep trance and takes post-hypnotic suggestions of motor and sensory character. It is highly probable, and experiments seem strongly to confirm the same view, that the different form of spontaneous automatic manifestations are of the same nature as hypnotic states. The subject first lapses into a subconscious state, from which he emerges manifesting sensory or motor automatism. The patient may fall into the subconscious state and pass through the whole of the experience while in that condition, and then on passing out of the state may remember everything that has taken place, but not suspect having lapsed into the subconscious state.
One of my cases, an active somnambulist, had similar experiences. “This morning,” to quote from my notes, “I have been looking for a lost parcel. Suddenly I heard a voice telling me, ‘You will find it on the shelf in there.’ I was standing by a closet door, my eyes were open. I looked through the door and could see the thing clearly. I opened the door and took it. I was in a peculiar state before the voice spoke to me. My mind was a blank. I was as if unconscious of walking, as if doing things automatically.” She had recently similar experiences. Thus, an instrument was displaced; a voice suddenly told her, “It is in the dark room,” and there it was found.
The patient may fall into the subconscious state only momentarily, and take the suggestion of manifesting the automatic phenomena on emerging from the subconscious condition into the normal waking state. It appears, then, that the general law for the reverse procession of psychic content from the deeper state of the subconscious is the one condition of the merging, momentarily, of the central consciousness into the subconscious and then the emergence of the subconscious into the focus of the upper consciousness.