Four Simple Tests
Study each test in the order given. You should thoroughly master the first test before attempting the second, and you should thoroughly master the second test before attempting the third, etc.
RESTING HAND ON FINGERS
First Test - Relaxing The Muscles. Nature Of First Test
This is a test in the relaxation of the muscles or in other words, a devitalizing exercise. You may use the test on anyone with whom you happen to come in contact; it is better to try a number of persons at once. It is difficult for many persons to relax their muscles completely; it is hard for them to put themselves in a passive condition. When a doctor examines your throat he frequently has to take an instrument to push your tongue down. This is because you do not relax the muscles of your tongue. Most people do not obtain the rest that they should when they sit down, for the simple reason that they are unable to relax their muscles. They keep them on a tension and are consequently tired all the time. A person who can sit down and completely relax his muscles, can obtain more absolute rest in ten minutes than a person who cannot relax his muscles will be able to obtain in from thirty minutes to one hour. Anyone can learn to put himself in a passive state - to relax his muscles. A large percentage of people can do so without learning. Some require but a few minutes to learn, while some require days or even weeks. You should use test No. 1 on yourself, as it is very important that you learn how to put yourself in a passive state to secure rest.
This is not necessary for the purpose of learning personal magnetism and hypnotism. You can learn these sciences without this ability, but you need it for the good it will do you. It will keep you from being nervous; it will lengthen your life. Hundreds of people complain of being overworked; they are extremely nervous and suffer continually from nervous dyspepsia, all for the simple reason that they are unable to put themselves in a passive state; they keep their muscles and nerves continuously on a tension, and this will eventually undermine and wear out the strongest constitution.
How To Perform First Test
Request the subject to place the left hand upon the right finger, according to the illustration preceding. Tell him to let the full weight of the hand rest upon the finger, using the finger as a means of support merely. After you have given these instructions, ask him if he thinks that he is doing as you have requested - that is - if the full weight of the hand is resting upon the finger. If he says yes, then say, "When I count three I wish you to remove your finger very quickly. Ready - one - two - three." As you say "three" he should remove his finger. If he has relaxed his muscles the left hand will fall into the lap as the finger is removed, according to illustration following.
HANDS RESTING IN LAP
It is evident that if you place a book upon your fingers and remove your fingers quickly, the book will fall to the floor, so if the persons do as you direct, that is, if they let the full weight of their hands rest upon their fingers, it is evident that when their fingers are removed, the hands will fall. If the hands should not fall the persons have not complied with your instructions, that is, they have not devitalized themselves; they have not relaxed their muscles. You will probably find that a number of the hands will remain up, according to illustration shown on opposite page.
If the hand does not fall when you count three, but remains up, as shown in the illustration, you should explain to the subject that he has not put himself in a passive state, and get him to try again. Upon a second trial he may be able to comply with your directions. The left hand must not be pushed or forced downward into the lap, but all the muscles in the left arm and hand should be completely relaxed and the hand and arm should fall as a dead, inert body - the same as a book would fall. Many persons believe that they can completely relax their muscles when they cannot do so. If one has not this ability it is well that he should find it out at once, so that he can practice until he attains it, because it means very much to his health and happiness. Fifty per cent. of the people who are cross and nervous are in this condition simply because they cannot place themselves in a passive state. They never secure absolute rest; the nervous system is overworked and misery and unhappiness follow as natural and inevitable results.
HAND REMAINING IN THE AIR
ref. Hypnotism and Suggestion by E. Virgil Neal and Charles S. Clerk