There was there the mighty power, whatever it be, which it is said once dared dispute the empire of heaven with the Omnipotent, and which all ages have called Satan, whether it is to be called evil with the Christian, or good with the philanthropist, a person with the believer, or a primitive and elemental force with the mesmerist
The celebrated commission of the French Academy of Sciences of 1784, whose report dealt to Mesmerism a blow which has generally been supposed by those who know nothing about it to have been one of annihilation--even this committee have no hesitation in recognising this fact; however they may attempt to explain away its attendant phenomena,--however they may seek shelter from one difficulty of belief behind another not less incomprehensible; by ascribing to a vague principle, of a purely mental and spiritual character, which they term "imagination," physical effects of the most surprising kind, for which a much more intelligible explanation is to be found in some of the theories of the Mesmerists
were often conceived as masculine, as seen in the widespread belief that they used their power to seduce women.
In the migration of Africanist practices to white psychology, liberal reform became a matter of spiritual awareness; the privilege of disembodiment derives from slaves whose encumbered bodies silently justified the universalism of mesmerists
, spiritualists, and antislavery men and women.
who murmured and gesticulated at me had no effect on my rational capacities, though the experience was rather relaxing," Franklin says.
Using whatever it was -- deception, magnetic fluids, will-power, or the devil (Victorians disagreed) -- mesmerists
were seen to put their subjects in a trance.
Critics of the novel have, with a few exceptions, dissented from this position only by reading Blithedale as a roman a clef, in which the feminist Zenobia may stand for Margaret Fuller, who visited Brook Farm; the reformer Hollingsworth (or the mesmerist
Westervelt) for Albert Brisbane, the community's "apostle of Fourierism"; and the narrator, Coverdale, for Hawthorne himself.
Psychical research emerged as an attempt to continue and systematize the work of the mesmerists
and the Spiritualists by exploring hidden dimensions of human functioning and the possibility of spirit agency (Gauld, 1968; Lachapelle, 2011; Moore, 1977; Wolffram, 2009).
Mediumship, psychical research, dissociation, and the powers of the subconscious mind/ Medialitat, psychische forschung, dissoziation und die krafte der unterbewussten psyche/ Mediumnidad, investigacion psiquica, disociacion, y poderes de la mente subconsciente/ Mediumnite, recherche psychique, dissociation, et les pouvoirs de l'esprit subconscient
Japan) creates a wonder show of his own with his vivid portraits of mesmerists
, magicians, electrical wizards, mind readers and their spectacles.
The analogy with the electric fluid was frequently made by mesmerists
in Britain--as, for example, in Samuel Stearns, The Mystery of Animal Magnetism Revealed to the World (London, 1791).
Indeed, secularized occultism pervades the modern world in ways we rarely think about, from psychoanalysis (which, as occult historian Peter Washington notes, presents the analyst as a kind of "sensitive" with a sixth sense) to the still-thriving Marxist communications theory (which posits the mass media as powerful mesmerists
with their audience in thrall).
As an adult researching Blue Windows, Wilson learned that even Christian Science has a shadow side, based on Eddy's paranoid belief that mental malpractitioners or mesmerists
were trying to poison her mind.