In 1893, The Law of Psychic Phenomena by Thomson Jay Hudson was published and presented a working hypothesis for the systematic study of the vast potential of man’s mind. This work was also referred to in the Cayce trance readings as a book one should read to understand what happened during a reading. In Hudson’s work, there are two aspects of mind: objective and subjective. The two minds are very different in their purpose and capabilities. In modern terminology, the objective mind is the conscious reasoning mind. The subjective mind is the subconscious mind with enormous powers of deduction and memory and provides control of the autonomic nervous system. According to Hudson, the two aspects of mind, when properly understood, provide answers for phenomena not previously understood such as hypnosis, psychic phenomena, and faith healing.
This seminal work by Thomson Jay Hudson is a classic that should be a starting point for those who want a better understanding of the mind and its potential. Much of what Hudson learned was based on studies of hypnotic experiments, which have been replicated at many universities over the years since the publication of his work. He also examined research in the psychic field and various types of non-medical healing. Hudson recognized that the key underlying principle was “suggestion” and provided numerous examples of its use in everything from stage demonstrations to faith healing of incurable diseases.
For those who believe they have made contact with a spirit guide or entity while in a trance, this book is a necessary read. It provides important background that someone delving into the psychic or paranormal field should have. Hudson does not support some activities that he regards as dangerous, but the reader can draw his or her own conclusions. A person’s mind has enormous, in most cases untapped, capabilities. I believe that sometimes the mind creates an external reality to speak to a person, because the person does not believe he or she possesses the abilities demonstrated by the external entity.
The results of hypnotic experiments demonstrate just how erudite the subconscious can sound. In a hypnotic state, the person can intelligently discuss the most sophisticated philosophical systems, while in a normal state be completely ignorant of such topics. One person was hypnotized to believe he was talking to the spirit of Socrates, and he carried out a most interesting and enlightening dialogue with an imaginary Socrates. Even the readings from one of the best known modern-day trance mediums, Jane Roberts, who channeled the presence Seth, suggests that she and Seth were linked in a stronger way than she initially thought, and that Seth was more than simply an external entity.
If you doubt the power of the mind, I suggest you examine the history of hypnosis as an alternative to or supplement for traditional methods of anesthesia in surgery. The use of hypnosis is now studied for potential benefits for patients both prior to surgery and post operation. Unfortunately, stage demonstrations in the 1800s and early 1900s caused many to regard hypnosis as something used entertainers with little or no practical value, a stigma that is still attached to it today.
In the 1950s, the scientific community began taking a fresh look at this phenomenon. Now there is widespread recognition of the effect of mind on the body, and hypnosis has become a valuable tool in helping people in a clinical setting. However, I’m not certain you will find it utilized in many hospitals.
The power of suggestion is invoked by everyone on a daily basis. Our constant mind chatter feeds suggestions to ourselves that have a real effect on our physical bodies and environments. Positive use is made of the power of autosuggestion by athletes to improve their performance, and psychologists and psychiatrists certainly recognize its effect. Hudson’s principle of suggestion is the basis for much of the new thought we find in self-help books and teachings of Unity and some other Christian religious denominations.
On the medical side, today we still seem to be missing family physicians who understand the principle. They often consider the mental as unrelated to most health issues. We need physicians who can treat the entire person and understand the effect of mind on body. Ask yourself how many times your doctor has inquired about stress in your life, as well as your diet, or the amount exercise you get each day. Does your doctor have a good understanding of your mental health?
The importance of mind to the health of the body was repeatedly stated in the Cayce readings in the 1920s, ‘30s, and early ‘40s, which is why he is regarded by some as the father of modern holistic medicine. Cayce recognized the role mind plays in disease long before most in the medical profession. The doctors I have met or friends and family members have encountered still seem largely ignorant of that role. They are good at naming diseases and prescribing medication, but not so good at getting at the root cause for the disease.
I don’t think it is farfetched to say that few doctors know anything about dreams, and those that have some knowledge are often recalling some of Freud’s outdated theories they were taught in medical school. I am fortunate in having an open-minded physician. She read my book and immediately recalled two dreams. One dream involved the dire condition of a food crop, which she couldn’t understand at the time. The next day she was watching the national news when the same condition for that food crop was reported. Hopefully, in the future we will see doctors who are trained to ask about the patient’s dreams as part of the process of understanding the patient’s illness. Of course, this will not be of much value until more people are taught to record their dreams.