The Secret Science Behind Miracles


Max Freedom Long



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Huna is Applied Psychology

Before beginning the explanation of how fire-walking and other magic is performed through the use of three invisible elements which are still almost unknown in modern psychology, a few things need to be told about the religious beliefs of the kahunas.

The "Secret," or body of information handed down from one magician to another, was what may be called applied psychology for the most part. The element of religion was very small, especially if we accept the technical definitions of religion in the best modern sense.

Dr. Paul Tillich, [1] Professor of Philosophical Theology at Union Theological Seminary writes, "Magic is a special kind of interrelation between finite powers; religion is the human relation to the infinite power and value. ... Magic is the exercise of imminent power, religion is the subjection to the transcendent power."

[1. ]

All religions are mixed with magic. Prayer is magic. Everything we do to gain benefits for ourselves in this life or the next is a part of magic. Magic is getting something from supernormal sources. Religion is worship of a Supreme Being and an acceptance of whatever It gives us, whether pleasant or unpleasant.

While the kahunas got from the common source of such tales – the Nile Valley and neighboring lands – the stories of Adam and Eve, the Creation, the Flood and so on, and brought those tales with them to Polynesia, they did not share the concept of a personal and patriarchal God.

The kahunas taught that the human mind is not capable of understanding a form of consciousness unlike and superior to its own; therefore, all human efforts to imagine the characteristics of a final, ultimate and supreme God were a waste of time. They believed that there must be some Ultimate Creative Source, but they did not pray to It.

Take a flower, for example. It can have but a vague idea (if any) of the cow in the pasture. The cow can have a very vague idea of the nature and motives of the herder. The herder, therefore, when he has decided that there must be a Supreme Being who created the universe, can picture It only as another man. Although he cannot picture this Great Man except in the vaguest terms, he fears Him, prays to Him in hope of receiving favors, tries to bribe Him with sacrifices or sacrificial austerities, tries to obey such commands as he imagines this Supreme Man has laid down, and, last, worships him.

In a like manner, the invisible world of spirits and spiritual beings is to us much as our world is to a fish in the sea. The fish is hardly aware of a world above his watery realm. But as we ascend in the scale of intelligence, we of the realm of earth and air can know and understand the fish in his depths, even while remaining unable to share those depths as a place in which to live.

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Levels of Consciousness

The kahunas, while supposing that there were levels above levels of consciousness above man, as there are levels below him, paid scant heed to any level other than the one directly above our own. On this level existed the thing we would call the superconscious part of mind. They called it by various names, one of which, the favorite, was Aumakua. This translates, "Older, parental, utterly trustworthy spirit."

As it takes two to be a "parent," the Aumakua was considered to be a spirit composed of a male and female pair. All prayers and rites were addressed to this dual spirit, but because it was considered as much a part of ourselves as the conscious or subconscious is to the modern way of thinking, the Parental Spirit was worshiped not at all - it was LOVED. No sacrifices were made to it. No bribes were offered. It laid no commands on the lower selves. The relation was one of mutual love and trust – the parent and child relation.

Very logically, the kahunas taught that if any prayers to still Higher Beings were necessary, the Parental Spirit would know when they were needed and how to make them, doing for us such things as we are unable to do for ourselves because we have minds of a lower level of ability.

Because of this common sense attitude the kahunas remained simple and free from man-made dogmas to a surprising degree. They were direct and to the point. They could afford to be, for they possessed a system that actually WORKED. A workable system leaves little room for vagueness and dogmatic speculation.

This practical system by which magic was performed left no unfilled needs of a philosophical nature for the kahunas. They had, therefore, no saviors, no salvation, no heaven or hell, and no revealed religion with books in which were written, "Thus said God ..." In very fact, they had no books. Their language was never written until modern times.

While few of us may ever wish to fire-walk, this ancient rite is of great importance because it is a clear demonstration of the fact that there is a magical power that may be called into action if we know the methods to use.

Most of us pray for blessings of various kinds. The lore of the "Secret" brings definite and immediate results much superior to those we get. We cannot pray for fire-immunity and get it. Need more be said of the value to us of a study of the ancient lore?

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Basic Nature of Magic

Dr. Brigham, it will be recalled, had analyzed the basic nature of magic before understanding it. He had told me to watch for (1) a form of consciousness which used (2) some form of force, and (3) manipulated that force through some invisible kind of physical matter.

The Aumakua or superconscious part of mind is the consciousness involved in giving fire-immunity. The force it uses in this work is called mana by the kahunas, and is known to us as vital force. It is electrical in its nature and shows strong magnetic qualities. The invisible substance through which the vital force acts is called aka, or "shadowy body stuff."

As we already know that there is such a thing as vital force, let me begin my presentation of Huna (the "Secret") by pointing out some of the things already known about the uses and nature of this force, and then go on to things better known and explained by the kahunas.

It will be seen that the kahuna explanations also cover much that has been unexplained in the field of Psychical Research.

The three elements, consciousness, force and invisible matter, give us three measuring sticks with which to measure all magic. Notice how they apply more and more to magic as we come to see it unfold.

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Case 7: (Mixed) The Three Invisibles Behind Magic

Preliminary Notes:

In order to present a detailed and clear picture of the materials under discussion, I will cite some well known types of psychic phenomena, beginning with table tipping.

When we place our hands on a table and tip it, that is like a dog wagging its tail. When we place our hands on a table and some invisible being tips it, or when the table lifts or levitates from the floor with all hands on its top, that is the tail wagging the dog. However, when the table or other objects move of their own accord with no hands near them, the homely simile fails and we are face to face with one or the other of two forms of consciousness which may be involved in magic.

The first form of these two forms of consciousness is the ordinary "ghost." If it makes noises and bangs things around in a senseless or childish way, it is what the Germans called a poltergeist or "noisy ghost." But if the moving is done as if by a reasoning and adult ghost, it is normal psychic phenomena.

The second form of consciousness is that of a super-conscious type of being. Its work is characterized by the changing of an object into an invisible form before moving it – perhaps moving it many miles. This type of movement will be discussed later on. At present we are dealing mainly with the FORCE used to cause the movement.

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The Cases [A through C]:

The bulk of the cases which I shall cite in my report, unless it is specifically stated that they come from other sources, will have been drawn from the Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science, a monumental and authoritative book by Dr. Nandor Fodor [2] who, with his staff, collected and digested all available reports and accounts relating to psychic phenomena during the hundred years prior to 1933.

[2. ]

His evaluation of opinions and hypotheses has been both sane and wise. No better or more comprehensive source book will be found in any reference library.

(A) A famous psychical researcher, Gambier Bolton, in his book, Psychic Force, [3] writes:

[3. Google Books ]

"During any meal with Mrs. Elgie Corner (Florence Cook, a famous and much studied medium), [4] in one's own house, and whilst she is herself engaged in eating and drinking – both hands being visible all the time – the heavy dining table will commence first to quiver, setting all the glasses shaking, and plates, knives, forks and spoons in motion, and then to rock and sway from side to side, occasionally going so far as to tilt up at one end or at one side; and all the time raps and tappings will be heard in the table and in many different parts of the room. Taking a meal with her in a public restaurant is a somewhat serious matter."

[4. ]

(B) Sir William Crookes, [5] in his Researches writes:

[5. ]

"The instances in which heavy bodies, such as tables, chairs, sofas, etc., have been moved, when the medium was not touching them are very numerous. I will briefly mention a few of the most striking. My own chair has been twisted partly around, whilst my feet were off the floor. A chair was seen by all present to move slowly up to the table from a far corner, when all were watching it; on another occasion an armchair moved to where we were sitting, and then moved slowly back again (a distance of about three feet) at my request. On three successive evenings, a small table moved slowly across the room, under conditions which I had specially prearranged, so as to answer any objection which might be raised to the evidence."

(C) Cesar Lombroso, [6] the famous Italian psychiatrist and criminal anthropologist described in La Stampa (of Turin) his observations in a wine cellar where, in the absence of any living person, bottles of wine were frequently broken. He wrote:

[6. ]

"I went into the cellar, at first in complete darkness, and heard a noise of broken glasses and bottles rolled at my feet. The bottles were ranged in six compartments, one above another. In the middle was a rough table on which I had six lighted candles placed, supposing that the spirit phenomena would cease in the bright light. But, on the contrary, I saw three empty bottles, standing on the ground, roll as though pushed by a finger, and break near the table. To obviate any trick, I felt and carefully examined by the light of a candle all the full bottles which were on the racks, and assured myself that there was no cord or string that could explain their movements. After a few minutes, first two, then four, then two other bottles on the second and third racks detached themselves and fell to the ground, not suddenly but as though carried by someone; and after their descent, rather than fall, six of them broke on the wet floor, already soaked with wine; only two remained whole. Then at the moment of leaving the cellar, just as I was going out, I heard another bottle break."

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Comment on the above cases, as well as on all cases which will later be cited, will fall into three parts. First we shall have to consider what is known in the modern world relative to such cases. Second, we shall have to consider what the lore of the kahunas may add to the information. And third, we shall have to weigh all evidence as best we can (in this period prior to exhaustive experimental work) and make our guesses – do our speculating.

While no effort will be made to divide comment into these three parts, the reader will do well to remember that there are these three very important methods of approach to the fascinating problems which confront us.

As there is nothing to be learned and nothing to be gained from those who still elect to deny all the phenomena around which this investigation revolves, no time will be wasted in argument unless there is some valid objection which must be noted for its possible significance.

Modern explanations of table tipping and the movement of objects by unseen agencies have not improved on the classical one that the spirits of the deceased, or similar disembodied spirits, are responsible for all the phenomena.

The kahunas heartily agree that spirits are responsible, but give added information as to the nature and classification of such spirits.

Efforts have been made to explain these mysterious occurrences without falling back on the spirit hypothesis. These efforts will bear consideration for the reason that they represent the alternative that we may accept if we discard the idea of spirits.

Dr. Nandor Fodor, in his Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science, writes: "Exteriorisation of motricity was postulated in the case of Eusapia Paladino (noted medium) by Morselli, Flournoy, Geley and Carrington."

This "motricity" is thought to be a combination of electricity and vital force or nervous energy. It is postulated that this force, whatever it is, can leave the body and enter the object which shows movement. (This covers the first unit of our kahuna measuring stick, that of the force or power involved. The second unit is the intelligence involved to put the force to use in moving the objects, and the third is the invisible substance used as a hand to let the force act upon the moving objects.)

The intelligence which causes the movement of the various objects is supposed to have the ability to cause this motricity or force to come out of the body of a living person and cause the movement. The intelligence is also credited with the ability to draw invisible (sometimes slightly visible and slightly tangible) substance from the living body of a mediumistic person (or sitters at a seance) and make from it a hand or other limb through which to use the force. This substance is called "ectoplasm."

A different explanation is to be found in the postulation that the intelligence is the subconscious part of mind of the living medium, and that it, under certain mysterious conditions, can cause the motricity to leave the body together with ectoplasmic substance, and then cause objects to move. The subconscious is said to be causing this activity for the reason that, were the conscious mind at work, the medium would certainly be aware of the activity and in control of it.

In the bulky literature which has grown up around psychic phenomena and spiritualism during the century just past, scattered postulations are to be found covering the possible part magnetism may have in the action of motricity on objects. This is a most exciting and promising line of thought and, because of the unexplored territory which it still surrounds, it is recommended to the reader as a fine place to begin working with a view to helping to forward the general investigation of magic.

We suppose that gravity is akin to magnetism, and that magnetism is to be found where there is a current of an electrical nature. There might be something of a push-and-pull nature involved in the movement of tables and other objects.

The kahunas recognized the magnetic and the opposite, repulsive, nature of vital force or motricity but, unfortunately, they left no detailed exposition of the subject. They knew the force as a thing which had to do with all thought processes and bodily activity. It was the essence of life itself. The kahuna symbol for this force was water. Water flows, so does the vital force. Water fills things. So does the vital force. Water may leak away – so may vital force.

Dr. Brigham spent a considerable time studying the ancient kahuna practice of holding heavy wooden sticks in the hands and, by an effort of mind, causing bodily electricity to enter a stick and charge it heavily.

These sticks were formerly used in battle, the kahunas standing in the rear lines, charging large sticks, and then throwing them at one of the enemy. Upon contact with the sticks, even the strongest warriors were often made unconscious.

Dr. Brigham had tested the power of such sticks, and had found them capable of giving what seemed to be an electric shock of a peculiar kind. The shock numbed the limb which was touched and made the head swim. It was recalled that the American Indians had a similar knowledge and practice. (They were also fire-handlers and some are today.) An early account in the government archives tells how a medicine man exhibited his magic power by touching a strong brave on the chest with a forefinger, knocking him to the ground in an unconscious condition.

While the chance of an element of hypnotic suggestion being mixed in such performances must not be overlooked, it would seem that there is a very definite shocking power to be found in excess accumulations of vital force. The part played by the mind and will in causing such an accumulation, either in a throwing stick or a forefinger, as above mentioned, seems very important.

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W.R. Stewart

W. R. Stewart, [7] during his preliminary training under the Berber kahuna, was told that vital force could be stored in wood, stone, water and the human body, also in the invisible body of a "ghost." This force could be expended suddenly and thus move very heavy objects.

[7. From Huna Bulletin on this site: "One reader was W. R. Stewart, retired newspaper correspondent, living In England. He had been engaged in his youth in an effort to learn native magic from an isolated Berber tribe in the Atlas Mountains in North Africa. ... The words used in naming the elements in the Berber version of the system ... upon comparison to similar Hawaiian words proved to be identical except for slight changes which may be ascribed to differences in dialect." /huna/huna-bulletin/part-1.htm ]

A demonstration of the magnetic nature of the force and of an intelligence or spirit of a sub-human or off-human level was made by Lucchi for Stewart's benefit at night and on a hillside where a large stone was covered by wooden doors resembling cellar doors. These doors were pulled up, and they descended steps cut into the soil. The rock projected from the end of the cellar-like cave at the bottom. By torchlight a hen was killed and its blood allowed to fall on the face of the stone. An invocation was spoken addressed to the spirit supposed to reside in the stone at times. The hen was then dropped on the ground before the stone, but it soon rose in the air and pressed against the stone. A moment later Stewart, who had approached closer and held his torch down to have a better look, felt a powerful magnetic pull which almost jerked him forward against the rock. He was caught and pulled back with some effort by Lucchi, who immediately insisted that they leave.

Stewart never learned what intelligence had been invoked or for what such invocations were used in the course of daily magical practice. His guess was that the spirit which had made its presence known in the rock was a "nature spirit" and that it had something to do with the soil or the pasturage or weather – all very important to the Berbers and their herds. It was his private opinion that this spirit and its powers were inimical to man and probably dangerous to any but a skilled kahuna.

Lucchi had made the statement that all dealings with such spirits must follow a carefully observed ritual, and that any change in the ritual might cause trouble. Stewart had changed the usual course of the rite by stepping close to the rock at the wrong time. He was told that he should have stood back until all the life force in the hen had been absorbed by the spirit – the latter needing it to use in complying with the requests made in the invocation, after which the body of the fowl would have dropped. Stewart was reminded of the many tales of jinn or nature demons current in Arab folklore.

If some types of movement of objects by unseen forces could be proved to be largely dependent on the magnetic pull or push of electrovital force, we should have made a discovery of the first magnitude. The conclusion might be two-fold, (1) that the force could push or pull objects here and there without guidance from any spirit, living subconscious mind or other intelligence; (2) that the force could act without visible or invisible substance to serve as a hand, or even without invisible ectoplasmic substance to use – but, with some etheric matter, perhaps, through which to move in wave form. (The theory of the ethers is still controversial.

Today Science gives us ether to fill void space and interpenetrate full space, and tomorrow takes it away from us.)

Magnets pull iron objects to them, and in turn are pulled toward the objects. If a magnet were placed on a shingle in a tub of water, and a nail placed on a second shingle quite near, the magnetic pull would cause both shingles to drift closer together. In other words, one shingle would not remain stationary while the other was pulled.

Animal magnetism or vital force is amazing in that it displays a pull on the nail, but no balancing pull on the magnet, so to speak. Mr. Arthur Spray, a cobbler near London, well known to a friend of mine, is a powerful hypnotist. In his book, The Mysterious Cobbler, [8] he tells of a most intriguing – and entirely inexplicable – phenomenon which he has frequently met in his practice as a hypnotic healer.

[8. Google Books ]

He demonstrated this phenomenon before a group of newspaper correspondents on one notable occasion. Taking a young man who was a good subject, he had him lie at full length on the floor, then placed him in a deep hypnotic sleep in which his body became rigid. Then, standing at the feet of the prone subject, he ordered him to open his eyes. When the eyes opened and looked up at him, he began beckoning with his right hand. Slowly the head and shoulders of the subject rose of their own accord into the air, the heels remaining on the floor. Inch by inch the rigid body lifted at the head until it stood suspended at a right angle a good four feet from the carpet. It was held there for a few seconds, then the beckoning of the hand was reversed and the body slowly descended to the floor.

During this experiment, Spray felt no pull on his body or hand. While the young man weighed over one hundred and forty pounds, Spray did not feel the need of lifting an ounce to cause him to rise.

This experiment has been duplicated by other hypnotists, so we may accept the evidence of a one-sided pulling nature in human magnetism. (Which seems to result from an accumulation of electrovital force charges – these charges being built up through some physical action set in motion by the willed command.)

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Baron Eugene Ferson [Fersen]

Baron Eugene Ferson [Fersen] [9] demonstrated this one-sided magnetic pull in Honolulu several years ago before large class groups. He believed that by making a mental command he could draw from the atmosphere an electrical force. There was no doubt that he did draw force from some source, and his pupils readily learned the knack of the process.

[9. Fascinating bio: ]

Under his instruction, one pupil would make the mental command to himself to accumulate a surcharge of force. When satisfied that such a surcharge had been attracted (probably generated in the body from oxidization of foods) the charged pupil would place his hands on the shoulders of an uncharged pupil, then draw them slowly away. If the surcharge was sufficient, the uncharged pupil would be pulled strongly after the hands as they were removed. However, there was no sense of pull on the hands of the surcharged pupil.

I once saw Baron Ferson demonstrate the peculiarity of this form of magnetism by placing his hand on a light folding chair which stood in a row of similar chairs against a wall. He willed the magnetism to leave his body and enter the chair. He then called a sensitive young woman from the next room and asked her to walk along the row of chairs. She did so, and as she came opposite the magnetized chair she was almost violently pulled down upon it. The young lady weighed at least ten times as much as the chair, and one might naturally expect the chair to rise and press itself against her body. But the action was just the opposite. The rule seems to be that the object – regardless of its size or weight – which has the heavier charge of vito-magnetic force pulls to it the less charged object, feeling no corresponding pull on itself as a reaction.

This magnetic force acts over a space of several feet and through such obstacles as cement walls. Baron Ferson, after charging himself, took his place on one side of a ten-inch cement wall while his class stood in an arched opening where both sides of the wall could be seen. On the opposite side of the wall the sensitive young lady (found to be the most sensitive of the class to the magnetic pull) was placed, her back three feet from the wall, and with a man stationed on either side to hold her by the arms to keep her from being pulled too violently against the wall by the magnetic force exerted by Baron Ferson. Ferson raised his arms and stretched them toward the girl on the other side of the wall. Instantly she was so powerfully pulled that the men had to exert all their strength to keep her from touching the wall. Ferson, on the other hand, stood with heels together, very erect, and neither felt a pull nor showed even a slight sway in the girl's direction.

The part that suggestion might play in such a demonstration was discussed by members of the class, and to test the magnetic pull without the possible implication of suggestion, the pulling effect was tried by two of w on a small bull terrier. Dogs are not known to be suggestible. We went through the prescribed exercise of accumulating extra force, then placed our charged hands on the rump of the dog which was made to stand before us, head pointed away. Both the owner of the dog and myself were successful in exerting such a pull on the dog that it was drawn backwards several inches, despite its clawing at the rug to resist. We, in our turns, felt no pull at all on our hands or bodies.

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J. B. Rhine

Dr. Rhine, [10] of Duke University, famous for his pioneering in Extra Sensory Perception, has published excellent evidence tending to prove that mind can exert an influence over matter without physical contact. In one of his experiments a machine is used to roll dice. As the cast is made, the experimenter wills the dice to turn up certain sides. A very definite effect has been noted as a result of the use of will.

[10. ]

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The more one considers the strange action of mind in conjunction with what seems undoubtedly to be vital force, the more easily one can believe in the various phases of magic. For all our proud scientific advancement, we must admit that we are still darkly ignorant when it comes to the secrets of mind, vital forces, and invisible substances.

Down the long centuries there have been current legendary accounts of human flight through the air. The witches were supposed to travel magically to their meetings. The Greek gods flew through the air at will. The adepts of India and Tibet have been said to overcome gravity and float off through the air to distant places in the twinkling of an eye. Or, they simply fade out in one land and reappear in another. Polynesian folklore is replete with tales of such travels.

In modern Psychical Research there are numerous instances in which men have been lifted bodily into the air. The famous medium, D. D. Home, [11] floated horizontally out of the window of one room and back into the house through the open window of an adjoining room – this on the third floor of the building.

[11. ]

If mind has a certain control over matter, it is probably that the control is exerted in some way by means of directing the action of vital force, and through it, the action of magnetism or even gravity. A number of experiments have been carried on in which breathing and will were used in combination to affect gravity.

Dr. Hereward Carrington, [12] dean of all psychical researchers, in his book, The Story of Psychic Science [13] tells of his experiments with the lifting game, in which four people stand ready to lift a fifth with the fingers. All five inhale deeply several times, then hold the breath and make the lift. The person lifted feels lighter than usual. When this game was played on platform scales, the normal combined weight of the five people and a chair was 712 pounds. At the moment of the lifting the scales registered a loss of weight from 50 to 60 pounds respectively in several tests.

[12. ]

[13. Published 1930. Google Books ]

Baron Schrenck Nötzing [14] recorded a case in which a young man practiced breath control and was able to lift himself free of the ground twenty-seven times.

[14. ]

The other side of this picture is more obscure, but numerous reports have it that individuals have been able, through the use of will and breathing control, to increase their weight greatly.

In Hawaii (as in Tibet, according to a fairly recent book) there was used a combination of will-breathing to gain magical aid in running long distances. There were specially trained messengers who sometimes held races of sorts. In carrying messages for the high chiefs, their speed and endurance surpassed by far that of men not able to use this form of magic.

Another angle of this problem of vital force and its strange motor and magnetic phases awaits exploration. This is the healing power. From time immemorial there has been the practice of the laying on of hands to cure the ailing. It was always apparent that some people had more of this healing power than others. Kings were supposed to have it as their natural right.

In religion, prayer accompanies the laying on of hands. In kahuna practice amongst the Berbers, W. R. Stewart describes cases of immediate relief from pain when his teacher laid her hands on the sick. She told him that her magical force was so strong that it left her body and went into the sick one through the simple process of touching with the hands. In more serious cases she said she would make a ritual prayer and take time to ready the patient with psychological and ritual cleansings.

In Hawaii the transfer of vital force from the kahuna to his patient, or to the spirits of the dead for special ends, was common.

Baron Ferson told in his Honolulu classes of a peculiar effect which he had noted frequently when placing his hands on another for healing or other reasons. There seemed to be a return flow of negative force. This negative return flow carried substances with it, such as alcohol and nicotine. Ferson told of having accumulated an excess charge of the force (he called it "The Universal Life Force") then placing his hands on the shoulders of an intoxicated man, with the amazing result that he himself became intoxicated to a degree, while the drunk man became almost entirely sober within a few moments.

Mediums at spiritualistic seances have reported such a strong transfer of nicotine from heavy smokers in the circle (hands joined to cause the flow) that they suffered all the symptoms of nicotine poisoning. With heavy smokers removed from the circle, the symptoms failed to appear at later sittings.

I have watched natural healers lay hands on the sick, making at the same time suggestions that they are drawing out the poisons and illnesses with strokes of their hands, and were shaking these off their hands (making gestures as of shaking water from finger tips). Nearly all such healers are convinced that they actually do draw invisible substances from the sick. Most of them, after finishing their treatment, wash their hands and arms in water, suggesting that they are cleansing themselves of any of the harmful invisible substances drawn from the patient.

From my personal observations and studies of this method of healing, I have become convinced that almost any healthy person can help the sick by laying hands on them and making a willed command that his force enter the patients and strengthen them. The use of the will, if accompanied by the spoken word, forms a suggestion which may be highly effective.

Mesmer, [15] who discovered mesmerism over a century ago, was not aware of the potency of suggestion in connection with a transfer of what he called "animal magnetism." However, he had practiced accumulating a surcharge of vital force (while holding a magnet from which he thought he was getting the force) until he was highly proficient – if we are to believe the accounts of what he was able to do with the charges of force. He demonstrated healing powers so well that he became famous.

[15. ]

At first he laid his hands on his patients directly. Later, when there were too many patients for individual treatment, he made the willed effort to transfer his force to tubs of water from which iron rods extended. The tubs of water once charged, the patients then approached and grasped the rods. The descriptions of the effect on the patients leave no doubt but that mesmerism was a working force. Patients reacted differently. Some did not react and Mesmer would touch these, usually getting the reaction. There was much healing, and much hysteria such as may be caused by light hypnotic suggestion.

The sudden transfer of vital force from throwing sticks must be kept in mind in following this line of thought, also the sudden stunning discharge demonstrated when the American Indian medicine man touched a brave with a forefinger and caused him to lose consciousness at the touch.

Hypnotists, after the advent of mesmerism, found that hypnotism could be practiced by suggestion, or even by having the patient gaze at a bright point of light. They claimed that no magnetism was needed and none transferred to the patient or subject. This seems to be a mistaken idea. The fact that a hypnotic reaction is expected of the patient is in itself a suggestion. The fact that the hypnotist is near can account for a transfer of a sufficient amount of the vital force to make the suggestion take effect.

Later on we shall look into the kahuna explanation of how the vital force can travel between people without actual physical contact (or between the living and the spirits of the dead). At the moment it is necessary only to call attention to the fact that there is such an exchange, and that what we learned from Phineas Quimby [16, 17] to call "absent treatment" is an apparent reality, thanks to the ability to send over a distance both the vital force and the healing suggestion.

[16. See chapter 18 for more on Quimby: chapter-18.htm]

[17. See Quimby Manuscripts on this site: /healing/phineas-quimby/quimby-manuscripts/ ]

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