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diapsychism — the communication of thought — had
fully taken place. No example could better show the
radical distinction between these two phenomena, which
the one appellation mental suggestion tends to confuse.

However, it was quite possible to succeed with Leonie
in experiments of true mental suggestion, provided that
instead of commanding her to execute the order im-
mediately, during the sleep, she was mentally com-
manded to execute an action sometime later, after she
woke. Dr. Janet cites three experiments made in these
conditions :

First Experiment

Dr. Gibert, without speaking a word, held his forehead near
Leonie's and mentally ordered her to come between eleven in
the morning and noon, and " to offer a glass of water to each
of these gentlemen." He did not tell this order to any one, but
merely wrote it on a piece of paper, which he put in an

At half-past eleven Leonie manifested the greatest agitation.
She left the kitchen, got a drinking-glass, and, carrying it,
entered the room and asked Dr. Janet if he had not called her.

At last she fell asleep, through the efforts of Dr. Gibert, who
was some distance away. And in her sleep she excused herself
for not having carried out the suggestion fully. "... I was
all a-tremble when I came to ask you if I had been called . . .


it was not easy to carry the tray . . . why am I wanted to carry
those glasses? ..."

Second Experiment

Dr. Gibert and Dr. Janet at first thought of commanding
the subject to pluck a rose and visit the letter-box near the
entrance gate; but they then decided upon the following sug-
gestion instead : " To-morrow at noon lock the doors of the
house." The suggestion was written by Dr. Janet upon a piece
of paper, which he himself carefully guarded, and it was not
told to a single person.

The following day, when Dr. Janet arrived at fifteen min-
utes before noon, he found the house barricaded and the doors
locked. It was Leonie who had locked them. On being ques-
tioned, she explained her actions thus : " I felt very tired, and
I did not want you to get in and put me to sleep."

At that moment she was greatly agitated. She began to
wander about the garden, and presently she plucked a rose and
went to the letter-box.

Third Experiment

(In this experiment we once more are In the presence of the
possible disjunction of the suggestive element from the dia-
psychic element in the pretended mental suggestion.)

Dr. Gibert ordered Leonie, by thought, to open an umbrella
the following day at noon and walk twice round the garden.

At noon the next day she again became greatly agitated.
She walked round the garden twice, but did not open the

When put to sleep by Dr. Janet, who wished to end her
increasing state of agitation, she complained that she had been
" made to walk all about the garden. ... I felt silly ... if
only the weather was like yesterday's, but to-day I should have
looked perfectly ridiculous." That day the weather was beau-
tiful, but the preceding day it had rained hard. Therefore, the


order, incompletely executed, had at least been perfectly under-

It can be asked, apropos of these experiments, if the
mechanism of sleep provoked at a distance by mental
action is assimilable to that of true mental suggestion
— that which consists in the transmission of an idea.
In other words, is it really the idea of sleep, present in
the mind of the operator, which is perceived, more or
less consciously, by the mind of the subject, and which
itself produces the sleep, in accordance with the well-
known laws of suggestion; or is it an indefinable influ-
ence, emanating from the operator, which is felt by
the subject and which produces sleep in him, without
the intervention of any idea?

In this second hypothesis, the phenomenon would be
allied more closely with animal magnetism than with
mental suggestion; and one then could understand why
it is often difficult to influence by mental suggestion cer-
tain subjects in whom sleep at a distance can be pro-
voked with comparative ease.

In Our Hidden Forces x we have shown the necessity

1 " Thought-transmission really consists in having the brain of A
when acting upon the brain of B create in the consciousness of B the
appearance of an idea or of a series of ideas, identical in nature to
those which occupy the consciousness of A. What was sent from my
physical brain to that of my subject G. P., during the hundreds of
experiments with him, was not the idea of sleep nor the idea of wak-
ing up; it was purely a physical influence which produced sleeping
and waking, independently of any idea." — Our Hidden Forces, p. 283.

" The observation of M. J. Hericourt, relative to a woman in whom
he had never been able to provoke mental suggestion distinctly, but
who had gone to sleep merely when he willed her to sleep, and who
felt a painful sensation in the precordial region when he thought this
pain." — Revue philosophique, 1886.

Dr. Albert Ruault, who reported other similar facts {Revue philo-


for distinguishing these two hypotheses. If this dis-
tinction may appear filmy, it is because in reality — as
we shall try to show farther on — biactinism (animal
magnetism) and diapsychism (communication of
thought) are extremely closely connected with each
other, or, more properly speaking, diapsychism is but a
particular derivative of biactinism.


Perhaps in examining the question more closely it
may be doubted that the facts we are now considering
— and in which ideas suggested mentally are related
wholly to acts or states — are, strictly speaking, sug-
gestions of an intellectual order, true suggestions of
ideas; for it well seems that the idea of the act or state
may be here only the means of suggestion, of which the
end is this very act or state.

What the operator seeks to obtain is not that the
subject shall think of the action of " getting up " or of
11 sleeping "; but that he shall actually get up or sleep.
To obtain this result, is not his will the essential factor
even more than his intelligence?

The real type of true mental suggestion, or at least
that of purely intellectual diapsychism, would consist,
therefore, in the communication of an idea, which

sophique, 1886), insisted upon the difference between phenomena of
this order and true mental suggestion. Speaking of a young man, in
whom he could himself provoke sleep by a simple effort of will, he
said : " It was a case of mental suggestion, for I soon recognized that
he was put to sleep solely by the intensity and the duration of the
sensation that he felt when I made an effort of will in thinking of
him. I mean, by this, that he did not sleep because I willed that he
sleep, but wholly because he felt strongly that my mind was concen-
trated upon him."


would be realized in the mind of the subject solely as
an idea, or in the state of representation, of thought,
and not as an excitation tending to provoke in him, out-
side of his mind, a certain state or a certain act.

True mental suggestion, or intellectual diapsychism,
is sometimes produced spontaneously when, for ex-
ample, a certain name comes suddenly to the mind of a
person — without being a result of his preceding
thoughts — at the precise moment when another per-
son thinks this name and is on the point of pronouncing
it. Nearly always, however, one may question
whether this is not a chance coincidence. Attempts
have been made to produce the phenomenon experi-
mentally, especially in England, in the Society for
Psychical Research. In France, M. Charles Richet
also has made experiments along this line.

One individual, A, thinks successively of different
numbers. Another individual, B, who is placed as far
as possible in a state of special receptivity, indicates the
number each time, the idea of it having surged sud-
denly into his mind.

Better still, A takes some playing-cards, which only
he can see, and concentrates his attention upon one at
a time : B names successively the cards of which he
thinks. A record is kept of the number of times the
ideas of A and B correspond; and from the calculation
of probabilities, the number of these agreements is
greater than it could possibly be in the hypothesis of
chance coincidences.

The experiment appears a little more complicated
when it is a question of transmitting mentally the idea
of a somewhat familiar object: a watch, key, ring, vase,


lamp, or even a house, tree, animal, etc. In experi-
ments of this order instituted by the Society for Psy-
chical Research of London, the transmitter A was in
onetroom, having before his eyes a picture of the object;
the receptor B was in another room, nearby, trying to
draw this picture upon paper with a pencil — or at least
the picture which came to his mind, and this was often
found to conform, in its characteristic traits, to the pic-
ture which A was thinking of and gazing upon in-

The early mesmerists already had observed this
form of thought-reading, without, however, sufficiently
distinguishing it from the form in which the communi-
cation of ideas is made involuntarily, unconsciously,
from the operator to the subject, the latter appearing
rather to divine the idea, himself, without the opera-
tor's having made any effort to transmit an idea to

" The sleeper," says W. Gregory, " being put en
rapport with any one at all, can often describe, with the
greatest exactitude, the thoughts of this person. These
thoughts may be of an absent friend, or his house, or
that of another, or his dining-room, his bedroom, his
study, etc. All these things are perceived by the
sleeper in proportion to the extent that they occupy the
mind of the experimenter. He describes them very
minutely and very exactly, to the point of really aston-
ishing us."

W. Gregory remarks, moreover, that this form of
thought-reading often simulates clairvoyance, with
which it risks being confused, as we shall show in the
following chapter.



Let us consider now the true reading or penetration
of thought. This differs, it must be remembered, from
mental suggestion, in that it is produced independently
of the will of and unknown to the operator, the active
role appearing this time to belong wholly to the sub-
ject. Because of this very circumstance the phenom-
enon is difficult to constate with certainty.

However, according to certain contemporary psy-
chists, especially those who are members of societies
for psychical research or inspired by their doctrines,
there is in all the order of parapsychic facts no phe-
nomenon more frequent than the penetration of
thought. It mingles, according to them, with almost
all the others, and renders them incomprehensible to
those who do not suspect its presence, while it is suffi-
cient to admit its latent intervention in order to have
all the obscurities made clear.

We can apply here to the penetration of thought a
distinction that we already have applied to suggestion :
that of fact and of hypothesis. It is one thing to con-
state directly the penetration of thought as a fact that
we observe outside of all reasoning; and quite an-
other thing to suppose that it must have been produced
on a certain occasion, because this supposition alone
permits us, we think, to give a plausible solution to the
enigma which is raised by some particular case.

I am obliged to confess, however, that I myself have
never been able to constate the penetration of thought,
thus understood, in conditions which would leave no
room for doubt, even though my attention has always


been turned in this direction. With the exception of
one subject, Ludovig S., who on four different occa-
sions succeeded in enouncing aloud a name I had each
time thought of silently, 2 I have never found any one
who might be in a state, either to obey my suggestions
not manifested by word or gesture, or to divine spon-
taneously my thoughts, my unexpressed intentions.
But it may be that chance has served me badly, or
that I lack the special aptitude which perhaps is indis-
pensable to produce this sort of phenomenon.

A young member of my family, who would appear
to be particularly gifted in this connection, has told
of an experiment made by him, where it is impossible
not to see an absolutely genuine case of penetration of

Having finished his military service in a regiment of in-
fantry at Bordeaux, and returned to Dijon, he had found in
the wife of one of his friends a hypnotic subject of rare sensi-
tiveness. After putting her to sleep, he suggested to her that,
when she woke, she would change personality and would be
identified with him as he was during his military service. " You
will be Corporal B. You will have the men of your squad
in front of you, and you will instruct them."

The subject, passing from sleep to a state of apparent wak-
ing, began to call the assistants in a military manner; she ques-
tioned them about the different grades, the insignia by which
each is recognized, etc. But this, of course, was knowledge
that any one could have, without necessarily being connected
with the army.

Suddenly, however, when addressing one of the friends of
her husband — mentally transformed by her into a soldier —

2 These experiments are described in detail in Our Hidden Forces,
Chapter XII.


the young woman demanded: "What is the name of the
Colonel of your regiment ? "

The hypnotist quickly spoke the name, as he knew that the
man questioned did not know it.

"Be silent!" the subject said promptly. "I am not ques-
tioning you."

Therefore he, as well as the man interrogated, remained
silent when she asked the next question:

"What is the name of the Captain of your regiment?"

What was the hypnotist's surprise when the subject herself
spoke the name, which he thought of silently and which he
was the only one in the room who knew! His surprise was
even greater when the improvised Corporal added :

" You must be as stupid as cruchade not to know the name
of your Captain! "

Cruchade is the popular name in Bordelais (the dialect
spoken in the country around Bordeaux) for corn-pap, and the
expression, " stupid as cruchade," is currently employed among
the people of Bordeaux to express extreme stupidity. The ex-
pression is wholly unknown in Burgundy. Certainly, however,
the hypnotist had often heard it; perhaps he himself had used
it in speaking to men of his squad; but surely he was not
thinking of it at that moment. Not only, therefore, did the
subject — momentarily identified with the one who had put her
to sleep — read into his actual and conscious thoughts, but she
also penetrated even beyond his consciousness, to the very depths
of his past remembrances.

It is in the realm of the subconscious that certain sub-
jects are able to clarify this ensemble of latent, affec-
tive, intellectual, and active virtualities which compose
the character of an individual, when they make of this
character, in a few minutes, without preliminary indi-
cations, without apparent effort of reflection, a psy-


chological analysis such as a professional psychologist
operating with all the resources known to science, and
with the most minute information, would certainly be
incapable of making.

" I could not doubt," wrote Dr. Vaschide, " the sur-
prise of my friend, Dr. von Schrenk-Notzing, the well-
known Munich psychologist, when Madame F. wrote
his psychological portrait with a richness of exuberant
details. I myself was ignorant of these details, and it
was absolutely impossible for Madame F. to have
known them before my consultation, or even to have
thought to obtain prior information in any way whatso-
ever; for I had asked her to come, in a note sent by
messenger. Examples of this kind are numerous."

Undoubtedly, the experimental study of lucidity, in
the popular meaning of the word, of cartomancy, of
chiromancy, of psychometry, and of other occult prac-
tises of this nature — a study evidently very daring and
in its present form not apt to tempt savants — would
nevertheless reveal to us, in the midst of much illusion
and fraud, unquestionable and interesting cases of the
communication of thought.

Here is a quotation from Dr. Osty which proves in-
contestably the reality of intellectual diapsychism and,
at the same time, the falsity of the " cartomantic doc-
trine." Madame K., a card-reader, consulted her
cards for some one of whom Dr. Osty thought. He,
after cutting the pack and choosing a certain number of
cards, pictured mentally the person who must serve as
the object of the divination.

When she had disposed the cards, Madame K. began to speak
to me of this person, very clearly and very exactly. After a


few minutes I stopped thinking of the person in question.
Madame K., however, was still speaking to me when, suddenly,
I regretted not having exercised this prophetic science in behalf
of one of my friends whose present life was so active that he
would yield far richer material for experimentation. Scarcely
had this thought entered my mind when the card-reader abruptly
began making revelations which exclusively concerned this sec-
ond person. The lives of these two were so different that the
subject soon expressed her astonishment at the odd dissocia-
tion which seemed to exist in the one individuality which she
believed she was interpreting.

Since then I have observed in card-readers, as many times
as I have wished, this influence of the thought of the consult-
ant upon the direction of their lucidity.

In spiritistic seances it is not unusual to establish the
fact that the responses given by the table, the plan-
chette, or the pencil, reflect not the thoughts of the
medium but those of some one of the assistants, who is
wholly surprised to see thus revealed publicly what
he believed to be hidden deep within his own heart. It
is true that believers in the spiritistic doctrine probably
would refuse to recognize, in this, diapsychism as an
evident fact, and would consider it merely an hypothe-
sis, which they have the right to oppose and to displace
by some other. But if the choice must be determined
by exclusively scientific reasons, the hypothesis of di-
apsychism, in conditions such as those we have indi-
cated, imposes itself to the exclusion of all others.


Meanwhile, we come to the facts for which di-
apsychism is offered to us as a more or less plausible


explanation, and which, if this interpretation were
definitely adopted, would prove not only that the com-
munication of thought is a reality, but also that it is a
very frequent reality; and that it is necessary to see in
diapsychism as much as, or even more than, in sugges-
tion, the key to the greater part of the parapsychic phe-

First of all, there is phreno-magnetism, which re-
mains a still unsolved enigma.

11 In some magnetic subjects," says W. Gregory, " if
we touch a given part of their head — such as, for ex-
ample, the organ of musical sound, or of self-esteem —
we obtain instantly a corresponding manifestation
without a word of suggestion. It is really, in many
cases, as if we were to touch the key of a pipe-organ
when the bellows are full of wind, thus producing the
sound instantly. If the music&l sound is the organ
touched, the subject soon begins to sing. If it is self-
esteem, he throws his head back, is filled with an im-
mense dignity, and declares himself superior to the rest
of humanity. If the organ of the love of children be
touched, the subject cradles an imaginary baby with a
realistic paternal affection."

Gregory thus follows the series of effects produced
by touching different parts of the cranium : benevolence,
acquisitiveness, prudence, hope, etc.

" I have spoken," said he, " of only a small part
of what I have often seen and often produced. It is
needless to say that I have experimented only in cases
where fraud was not and could not have been prac-
tised. The question is, rather : How are these effects
produced? "


To this question he replies that in certain cases " the
suggestion or the will of the operator, or the sympathy
between the operator and the subject, is sufficient to
explain the facts." This is to recognize the possible
intervention of diapsychism in phreno-magnetism.
11 But," he adds, " there are other cases where this
explanation is valueless," and he enumerates the proofs
of this assertion.

First, the subject is often ignorant of even the name
of phrenology, and does not know the situation of any
organ. This does not hinder him from reacting in-
stantly to the contact, at whatever moment it may be
produced, exactly as if the will or the thought of the
operator were the agent. But, it may be said, it mat-
ters not that the subject may be ignorant of what is ex-
pected, if the operator knows it.

A second and stronger argument is that when the
operator, as often happens, is as ignorant of phrenol-
ogy as is the subject, he is surprised and confused by
the result; for, in touching a certain part, he did not
know the function and consequently had no will what-
ever in this respect. However, there also, asserts W.
Gregory, the manifestation is just as easily produced.
Better still, the pressure of a chair, or a wall, upon any
part of the head, even though it may be accidental, or
the accidental contact of a hand or an arm, whether of
the operator or some one else, will produce the same
effects. Also, it often happens that when an operator,
acquainted with phrenology, intends to touch a certain
organ and, turning to speak to some one, touches by
mistake another organ while thinking of the first, he is
surprised by what he believes to be the wrong result,


until he discovers the cause. This happens in cases
where the subject has no knowledge of phrenology.

It is necessary to state that although these facts have
been closely studied, they are absolutely incomprehensi-
ble to us. And we cannot agree with Gregory's conclu-
sion that in all cases where sympathy or the will — in
other words, mental suggestion, or diapsychism — is
not a sufficient explanation, " the results obtained can
be explained only by admitting the phrenological cen-
ters and the influence of the operator upon these organs
by contact." Undoubtedly, there slips into these ex-
periments, unknown to the observers, a cause of error
which it is very difficult to discover. It would be
interesting, therefore, to institute new researches in
an effort to solve so baffling a problem.

The same point arises regarding many other para-
psychic facts. We shall cite here only the most salient.
The importance attributed by the School of the Sal-
petriere to the phenomenon of transference is well
known. This phenomenon consists in the fact that
" under the influence of metals — or, better still, of the
magnet — when there appear in certain subjects mani-
festations of hysteria — such as sensitive and sensorial
anesthesia, paralysis, contractions, and arthralgia —
which are limited to one side of the body, they dis-
appear from this side and appear on the opposite side."
But the phenomenon of transference is not confined
to that. Two subjects en rapport with each other can
play a role analogous to that which in a single subject
one side of the body plays en rapport with the other
side. Often this transference from one side to the
other, or from one subject to another, appears again


spontaneously without a new metallic application and is
repeated a certain number of times in succession, as if
by consecutive oscillations. The anesthesia, paralysis,
contractions, etc., can be thus transferred not only when
they exist naturally in the patient but even when they
have been produced artificially by suggestion.

The School of Nancy naturally attributes these curi-
ous effects to suggestion. Those who have obtained
the phenomenon, however, declare that " the conditions
are such that all idea of simulation or of suggestion
must be absolutely eliminated."

" Engaged in new researches," said Binet, " we
were, in the majority of cases, incapable of foreseeing

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