For years one of my favorite pastimes has been reading the remarkable book, “Keep Up With The World,” by Freling Foster. He wrote for many years the famous Collier’s feature.
One section of his book is devoted to Mind and Body and accurately and cleverly portrays some exciting phenomena.
For example, in Paris in 1932, a French neurologist gave an incredible demonstration of the potential power of suggestion. After the subject had been blindfolded, they informed him that his right arm was burned above the elbow. Then there soon developed a large red spot surmounted by a water blister. Yet the man had not been touched at all by any object.
Here was a case of a man getting a blister without being burned because he thought he was burned. Also, there are authenticated cases of individuals walking barefooted over red-hot coals without receiving burns of any kind.
Control of the mind can and does do some amazing things.
Freling Foster gives a tremendous example of the power of suggestion in a classic case that occurred at Harvard University. A psychology professor conducted a test among 1,484 persons to determine the power of suggestion. Calling one small group at a time, he asked them to listen to two seconds of a certain symphony. He would play it on a phonograph behind a screen and afterward state which rendition they preferred. Then he casually remarks that the critics had liked best the second one to be played.
Although the professor only used one recording, his results varied. 59% of his listeners favored the “second”; 37% favored the “first,” and only four percent knew they had heard the same recording twice. In a similar and more recent test in a high school, the instructor tought a class of 48 boys. He passed around a large coin, asking them to examine it carefully. They must have realized that he had a reason. After waiting 40 minutes, he requested each student to draw a sketch of the coin. He explained, “be sure to remember the size and shape of the hole in it.”Although, The currency did not contain a hole, yet one was included in 44 of the 48 drawings.
One of the most interesting things about the human mind… is what happens to it during an unconscious state, such as sleep or under hypnosis.
Hypnosis also distorts the time sense and accelerates the function of the brain to a fantastic degree, as shown by an experiment made some time back on three persons. He entranced each person. Then he told them that between signals, they would see a space filled with a specific object and to count the number of objects. The first individual saw soldiers, the second saw cows, and the third cotton balls. Although the time between the signals was only three seconds, these persons counted respectively 112 soldiers, 137 cows, and 862 cotton bolls.
I timed myself counting as fast as I could, silently and consciously, and the most I could count to in three seconds was 25. And yet, under hypnosis, one individual was able to count to 862 in the same amount of time.
One of these days, we’re going to learn some amazing things about the mind.
You may also be interested to know that it is often only the critical and limiting faculty of consciousness, which keeps us from doing things we might believe to be entirely our capabilities.