Man is a complex being and is possessed of a brute nature, as well as one human and divine. The common belief that human nature is the same through all the ages is a fallacy. It is accepted without proof. Human nature is capable of great change. This is one of the characteristics that distinguishes it from the brute. The most advanced races have very little resemblance to the primitive man. Time is the bell-ringer of the universe. He strikes the hours even now; presently he will peal the chimes. With a little knowledge, men think themselves wise; with much, the reverse. This creates the silent man, who fears to speak, on account of his ignorance. As every belief must rest on the antecedent of reason, unbelief is either owing to want of search or to the want of reasoning powers, to see the reasonableness of the belief offered. The more we look at ourselves, the less we shall learn of wiser things. To some people, "I" is larger than all the rest of the alphabet of life. The unselfish soul is "at leisure from itself," and so free to follow God and serve others.
Knowledge and experience in hypnotism are beneficial when, like education, they are used as a benefit and not as a show. A knowledge and thorough understanding of the fact of hypnotism is very important to physicians; it explains all phenomena of a so-called supernatural character. Knowledge in hypnotism is the branch of thought, and thought is the growth for the mind and soul. Valuable lives are often thrown away, lost, through ignorance of some of the most simple truths in nature, or errors of judgment in matters where error becomes a crime. Some of the best and wisest and greatest men have perished from the world in consequence of what might be considered a carelessness, a recklessness, or an ignorance which is amazing. The hypnotic transit of thought is: not hindered or deflected by space, as is thought conveyed by physical speech, which must be carried on coarser physical vibrations from tongue to ear, to be interpreted at secondhand by the observant, listening mind. To hear some people talk, one might imagine that science had only to do with surfaces and physical tests.
But what about the conscience, reason, reverence, aspiration, spiritual insight, love? When a human mind is engaged in thought, upon any special line or subject, it is in a reservoir of thought related to that special subject. According to its sensitiveness, it receives and assimilates thought from other minds throughout the universe. There are in hypnotism, animal magnetism, telepathy, sleep-walking and somnambulism as many phases of psychic phenomena as there are grades or strata of humanity. Some time since, in Paris, a poor somnambulist was seen to be pacing backward and forward on the top of a house six stories high, at nightfall. A large crowd soon assembled and anxiously watched her movements. She was evidently dreaming of some coming festival and was humming a lively air. Again and again she came to the edge of the imminence on which she was standing, and again and again she receded, always smiling and always unconscious. At last her eye caught sight of a candle in the house opposite. She awoke; there was a cry; a heavy fall, and all was over.
The visible phenomena of hypnotism, animal magnetism, somnambulism and telepathy are bound together by the universal law of cause and effect.
The effect is visible or perceptible, while the cause is invisible or imperceptible. The falling of an apple from a tree is the effect of a certain invisible force called gravitation. Although the force cannot be perceived by the sense, its expression is visible. All perceptible phenomena in hypnotism, animal magnetism and telepathy are the various expressions of different forces which act as invisible agents upon the subtle and imperceptible forms of matter. Many introspective natures seem absorbed in the expectation of a "supreme moment" of life, when they will rise to some rare height of vision that will be a spiritual inspiration and assurance to them ever afterward. But these heights of life are not reached by contemplation and expectation; nothing can elevate us to them but moral and spiritual action - the uplift of noble, helpful and unselfish deeds. The higher life is not living somewhere outside of the earth; but it is a living within your own soul. We are prone to cling to many things that injure us; we are prone to fling aside many things that would do us good. Fine sensibilities are like woodbine - delightful luxuries of beauty to twine around a solid, upright stem of understanding; but very poor things if they are left to creep along the ground.
For ages, knowledge has been a potent factor in the development of humanity. The first stage of the history of the world reveals the deification of force. The strong man was the great man, and to him homage was rendered. The physical elements of man were emphasized in those days. Gradually men rose out of the life of the body into the higher life of the mind, and pushed knowledge to the front, as volitional force tends to extricate itself more and more from the influence of circumstances it assumes from the great attribute of freedom.
ref. Hypnotism and Suggestion by E. Virgil Neal and Charles S. Clerk