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arm — and we call that a voluntary func- such a change can be affected by mental tion. Now the question is whether the means.” brain condition which accompanies the The first sentence is unquestionable; idea of enlivening our stomach can have the second is highly unscientific and unany effect upon that involuntary func- true. Those words "organic change tion.
and organic lesion” are used very Experiments with suggestion have bravely by many persons who have small proved that in some cases it can, if it con- apprehension of the difficulty they would tinues long enough. Persons of a very have in explaining them. An "organic" suggestible nature can, for instance, by trouble is one in which there is an abconcentrating their mind upon a certain normal condition of the tissues of an part of the body, increase the flow of
organ; a “functional ” trouble is one in blood to that part, although the regu- which there is a failure in the action of an lation of blood-flow is supposed to be organ, without any discoverable change entirely involuntary. The action of the in its tissues. “Nervous dyspepsia ” is a heart also, the movements of the digest- functional disorder, ulcer of the stomach ive organs particularly, and of the or- an organic disorder. All persons who gans of elimination, are almost directly have been much in the mercy of our phyaffected in suggestible persons by that sicians are acquainted with this general change in their brains which accompa- distinction. nies certain ideas. Individuals differ very But it is only a distinction of practical much in the degree of control which can language, and must not be overworked, be established; they differ as much as for here again we are unable to draw the they do in their ability to move their ears. line. The brain and nervous system is an And this difference in individuals the organ. The functioning of the stomach is so-called psychic and non-psychic types largely controlled by the brain and nervdoes not seem to connect itself uni
ous system. A functional disorder in the formly with any other characteristics. stomach therefore often represents an So it is hard to tell one from the other organic disorder in the brain or nervous except by the actual experiment. system. And few things would be more
Science has established, then, that likely to “affect " an "organic change” suggestion can affect to some extent the in the nervous tissue than the permanent so-called involuntary functions of the fixation of certain thought-habits in the body; but the extent or limitation of brain. If the most delicate investigations these effects is by no means determined. were possible, we believe we should find It could not be determined scientifically that every trouble has its organic maniwithout years of diligent experiment and festation. Even those miseries which I tabulation. Any dogmatic statement called “primarily mental,” are probably upon one side or the other of that ques- accompanied by abnormalities of cerebral tion is therefore premature and against structure somewhere, though they are too the spirit of science.
fine for us to discover. But if these slight Rev. Samuel McComb, Dr. Worces- organic changes can be affected by sugter's associate in the church in Boston gestion, we have no authority for the which has recently inaugurated the use assertion that greater ones cannot be of suggestive treatment, together with affected. It is a question merely of the religious and moral discipline, writes as degree of the effect, and not of the kind. follows: "With our present light it must If suggestion can affect those abnormalibe maintained that suggestion is available ties of the nerves which accompany fixed only within certain limits. There is not ideas of fatigue, perhaps it can affect the slightest evidence that when an organ- those abnormalities of the nerves which ic change has taken place in the body, we call neurasthenia neurasthenia be.
ing the name a doctor gives to his own ible
persons a structural alteration of the ignorance. But perhaps it can also affect skin by suggesting in hypnosis the ap those greater abnormalities which are plication of a blister. This may be excalled neuritis. What I want to show is plained as a high control of the circulathat there is no difference in kind between tion, but it is an organic change produced the disorders we can see, and those we thereby, and as such is of immense sigcannot see. There is no reason to suppose
nificance. that suggestion can affect changes which We have the comfort of knowing that are invisible through the microscope, but no truly scientific person will for many that as soon as a change becomes visible, years attempt to describe the limits of suggestion can no longer affect it. There application of the suggestive principle. is a limit to the effect of suggestion even a
Each will adopt a general attitude which in the most susceptible person, but we
satisfies his temperament and explains have at present no idea what that limit is. his experience. There is ample support That is one reason for objecting to the in the brilliant experiments of certain statement which I quoted.
French physicians for those who are quite Another reason is that, given a change radical, and there is a mountain of tradiin an organ, it is a part of the function of tional wisdom for those who are conservother organs to remove it. Even so small ative. a thing as the increase of blood-supply in the disturbed region can have its curative If I have shown that the new practice effect upon an "organic change.” There“
of medicine, which takes account of psyfore if suggestion can increase the blood- chology and cerebral physiology, is not supply, it can affect an organic change. dependent upon any doctrine of mind So that if we grant that suggestion can and matter, I have accomplished my affect the functioning of parts of the sys- reason's purpose. If in the by-going it tem, we have granted that it can in- has been suggested to some person that directly affect the structure of other parts. his woes can be alleviated by mental It is of value in the removal of, or adjust- means, or, at least, that he can learn from ment to, organic disorders. The next some new prophet the best of the art of sentence in Mr. McComb's article is an being an invalid, so much reasoning will admission of this: “ Yet even here the not seem vain. Every sick man can afford suggestive principle is not without value. to make this venture. It creates the most hopeful atmosphere Finally, be it urged that those who within which the material remedies may believe in suggestion, and have perhaps work.” If this is to be interpreted as been helped by it, shall quit their igno science and not as fancy, it means that minious reticence and say so. It is wrath when an organic change has taken place to the hopeful to see those who have suffiin the body, such a change may be af- cient breadth to go and put themselves fected by mental means.
under suggestive treatment, not having Issuing from the sweat of these techni- sufficient ardor of personal honesty and cal arguments, we shall be better con- altruism to say they have done so, but vinced by an example. Let me cite there- hugging their secret like the insane. So fore the repeated experiments of those long as the unprejudiced are cowards we physicians who have produced in suggest- are wholly damned by prejudice.
BY CHARLOTTE PORTER
A PAINTER Autumn is, whose brush
A Sculptor Winter is: his hand
Earth listens: her Musician, Spring,
But when the girl a woman turns
POOH! A MOTOR-BOAT!”
BY WILLIAM DAVENPORT HULBERT
I HAVE been reading a magazine article many memories that are more disagreeon “The Joys of Small-Boat Sailing," able than those of the days when the and it has appealed to me as few maga
wind flatted out. zine articles do. I, too, have owned a I thank you, brother, you have brought small boat. I, too, have been instructed it all back to me. in the art of fastening a “sheet-rope" so And yet, in spite of my gratitude, I that it will stay as long as it is wanted and have somewhat against you because you can be let go in a hurry. I, too, have felt have spoken slightingly of one of the best the stout little hull leaping and plunging friends I have ever had, and have imbeneath me like a living thing. I, too, plied that she is hardly worthy to be have known the thrill that comes in what mentioned on the same page with sailing my father used to call a gale of wind,” craft. when, with the canvas pulling with all “ Pooh! a motor-boat! ... A seaits strength, and the tiller tugging like a going trolley-car.
We feel the same frightened horse, she heels till the white
contempt that etc., etc., etc. foam hisses and flashes right over the lee- You hurt my feelings, brother. Really, ward gun's. I am not quite sure that I you do. Come now, and let us reason tohave ever had a balloon jibe, but I have gether, and perchance I shall convince been hit by a squall and have held on till you of the error of your views. the mast broke. Yes, and I, too, have In the first place, you admit that a listened to a sweet soprano voice, singing motor-boat is all right if one wants to go the sweet, old-fashioned songs, while the somewhere, but you hint that no one sails rounded gently in the soft night- who really loves and appreciates the breeze, and all about us the water shim- water ever does want to go anywhere in mered like a sea of molten silver. particular. Well, I do. I want to go By moonlight and starlight we'll bound o'er somewhere. the billow.
Seventy miles away, down the great If that enthusiastic magazine writer river that flows past my town, and out on had been perfectly frank, and had told the broad North Channel of Lake Huron, the whole truth as well as nothing but the a full league from any other land, there truth, I think I should probably have to lies a horseshoe-shaped island, with rocky add that I, too, have toiled slowly home- reefs guarding the portal of its harbor, ward through a long, hot summer after- but with fifty feet of water under your noon with the help of a white-ash breeze, keel if you enter in by the strait gate. while the sun blazed down from a cloud- Once upon a time it was a fishing-station. less sky and up from the mirroring water,
The fishermen are gone now, but you and the perspiration trickled, and the can still lay your launch alongside their oars grew heavier and heavier, and the rotting wharf; and if you come in after canvas flapped, flapped, flapped, mad- dark, and it is too late to gather balsam deningly, from side to side, and the wind for a bed, you can spread your blankets blew steadily up and down the mast. But on the planks and lie there till morning. if I felt called upon to mention these The stars will watch over you, and now things at all I should certainly say that and then through the long, quiet hours they were all in the game, and that I have you will hear the lonely night-call of the
waterfowl. Perhaps a rabbit will come to tank, Elmo, and give me ten gallons look for bread-crusts, or the splash of a extra, and a gallon of cylinder oil, and a leaping fish will break the stillness. And can of dope.” by and by, sooner than you expected, you The dope and the oil and the gasoline will look across the glassy harbor and see will be forthcoming. The tents, and the the eastern sky brightening ever so little, blankets, and the axe, and the kettles, while against it the pointed firs and the and the frying-pan, and the dishes, and tall pine trees stand
blacker than ever. the grub will be tossed aboard, or perhaps Another day is coming round the world. stowed in the rowboat that we somePresently, out of the inky silhouette of times take along as a tender. The crew the land, and its inkier reflection in the
and the passengers
if there are any water, faint details begin to appear passengers — will take their places. And the long, straight line of the beach; the now a twist of the switch, a three-quarter white stems of the birches; dim, shadowy turn of the needle valve, a quick throw of forms of big round rocks; and, last of all, the crank, the leaves. And all the time, in the sky And we go, go, go away from here; above and the water below, that first soft, On the other side the world we're overdue. faint glow is deepening into splendor, till Or perhaps it is a shorter run. We, too, the whole earth is filled with the wonder like our friend of the sailboat, are someand the glory of it, and at last the great what given to leaving town for an aftersun himself comes over the treetops and noon and evening; and although we do bids you "Good-morning." “
not carry a chafing-dish, as he does, we I've been there and seen it all, and I often take a frying-pan and porterhouse want to go again. I want to hear the steak, and find them a pretty good subgulls scream as they rise in
clouds stitute. Somewhere down the Old Chanfrom their nests on those rocky reefs, nel we go ashore, build our fire, open
the vexed beyond measure at the coming of a lunch-basket, eat our supper, and watch stranger, and I want to lie on the old the sun go down, the stars come out, and brown wharf again and watch the sun- the river turn to glass. For, almost withrise.
out fail, the breeze that has ruffled the And fifty miles away in another direc- water all day dies out with the coming of tion there is another island, where every the night, and leaves it still as a mirror. June a family of young loons is reared. I It is the way with the winds of the Great want to go and see how they are getting Lakes. And when the time comes to along this year. There are people who start for home we should be in a bad fix say that a loon's laugh has a wild and if we had to depend on sails. Even a lonesome, and even maniacal, sound. I white-ash breeze could not help us now, don't think so. Not always, at any rate. for the current of St. Mary's is swift and That particular loon mother has a laugh strong, and home is up-stream, not down. that seems to me to tell of happy domes- But the Sudden Sinker is ready whenever ticity. I want to make sure that no one we are, and by and by we touch a match is disturbing her housekeeping.
to the headlight and give the crank anAnd in still other directions there are other throw. It is pretty dark by this the North Shore, and Whitefish Bay, and time, and the Old Channel is crooked the Munuskong. I have seen them all, and none too wide, but we hug the Canbut I want to see them again, and when I ada shore, preferring to hit a mud-bank am ready to go I shall not want to wait rather than a pile of rocks, till presently for the wind. And I shall not have to. a pair of red range-lights, glowing like Instead, I shall go down to the boat- two live coals, come out from behind a house where the Sudden Sinker is wait- point to show us the road. ing for me, and I shall
the And let me say right here that we are