Page images

time, is, to Einstein,

conception has ever a relative thing.

L E cannot ourselves find done. For a second By way of estab

time relativity scored! lishing the unity of happiness until we have

But there is a third things in general, taught others the way.

way in which the Einstein traces a

theory should be vericonnection between

fied experimentally. gravitation and otber forces. According to In that respect, it has yet to prove its claims. Newton, gravitation stood as an isolated This test is concerned with the lines of the phenomenon; there was nothing to show that spectrum, which under certain conditions should it had any connection with any other force in shift toward the red; but as yet, the spectrum the universe; and there was nothing to explain has failed to support Einstein. why it should stand thus apart from every How this failure can be accounted for is other known law, acting with a singular inde- difficult to say, in view of the extraordinary pendence and aloofness, as though it scorned success with which the theory has been verified any close connection with other natural proc- in other respects. The results thus far attained esses. But Einstein has explained the appar- make it practically certain that Einstein is ently inexplicable behavior of gravitation; he aiming in the right direction, and has actually has calculated its operation with results which discovered new truths concerning the universe. he finds to be approximately although not exactly those of Newton; and his theories lead to DERHAPS all the results at which he has the assumption that there is no physical or I arrived are valid, although there are chemical phenomenon which does not feel the vastly important universal laws which he has effect of gravitation. Previous to Einstein, for not even suspected; perhaps he has seen part of example, it was believed that light might be the truth, while the rest of it is still hovering deflected to some extent by the effect of gravi- beyond his view, and beyond the view of all tation; but Einstein calculated that the de- men. His theories, for example, lead us toward flection was twice as much as was conceded. belief in a fourth dimension. But it may be, as

The experiment occurred during an eclipse some writer has remarked, that there is a fifth of the sun, when measurements were taken dimension and a sixth, and a seventh-and of the light of a star visible near the sun's disc. so on endlessly, so that, after all, the universe This light was found to be diverted from a is not finite, but infinite, although its infinity staight course almost exactly to the extent to is on an even more complex and inconceivable which Einstein predicted-a remarkable tri- scale than had been supposed before Professor umph for the relativity theory. The con- Einstein. clusion is that the light which reaches us from Whatever may be the world's ultimate verthe stars does not reach us along straight lines, dict on the theories of Einstein, it seems certain but along the arcs of gigantic circles, a result that he has brought us forward by enormous which corresponds perfectly with Einstein's strides in our conception of the universe. It theory of a limited universe.

may or may not be true that his is the greatest Other experimental evidence for the validity scientific achievement since Newton; but it of Einstein's theories was found in the case of does seem likely that his theories will take their the planet, Mercury. Astronomers had long place among the enduring monuments of human observed slight irregularities in the movements thought. There may be nothing ultimate of this planet, but nothing in Newton s theory about them. or any other known law could account for these It may be for some Newton of the future, to disturbances. The enigma was unsolved-appar- fully explain and adequately supplement them; ently it was insoluble—when Einstein appeared but, at least, Einstein appears to have estabwith his theory of relativity, which explains lished his place as a guide and a pathfinder in the the peculiar behavior of Mercury as no other age-long search for truth.

TT is in every man to be first-class in something, if he will. Only himself can

1 hold him back. There is no excuse for incompetence in this age of opportunity and efficiency; no excuse for being second-class when it is possible to be first-class, and when first-class is in demand everywhere.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

How the Mind Has Banished It

Author of "The Riddle of Personality,” “Scientific Mental Healing,” “Woman in

the Making of America,” “Sleep and Sleeplessness," and other volumes

-EDITORS' NOTEL YSTERIA! That is what Mr. H. Addington Bruce calls the strangest of all diseases. It is bd primarily a disease of lost memories-one of the most peculiar afflictions that comes to the human being-and the effectiveness of its treatment by mental means, the only means that ever are successful in handling it, usually depends on the skill with which these memories are recovered by the physician, so that he may know exactly what it is that he must suggest away. Mr. Bruce cites some remarkable cases in his article--the result of long research. Aside from being informing and valuable to the layman as well as the physican, it is unusually entertaining.

C OME months ago there was taken to the discovered that she could walk, without as

Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, sistance and without pain. A few hours later,

a little girl suffering from a hip trouble so rejoicing in a perfect cure, she was sent home to severe that it had crippled her. It had come upon her parents. her gradually, and under conditions warranting the belief that it was a tubercular affection. QIMILARLY, a middle-aged woman, a dressSeveral doctors, indeed, had made the diagnosis D maker named Sandford, while working of tubercular hip, and she had been sent to the hard to complete some orders in a busy season, hospital to undergo an operation that it was was attacked with paralysis down her right side. hoped might be the means of saving her life. For a week or more, she lay speechless, then

On the advice of one of the hospital's visiting gradually became able to talk again. But her physicians, however, she was kept in bed for some right arm and right leg remained totally paradays for purposes of observation. This physi- lyzed, together with the muscles of the right side cian, a specialist in nervous and mental diseases, of her face. Moreover, the entire right side of had noticed one or two things about her that led her body became anesthetic—that is to say, lost him to suspect that the previous diagnosis might all power of sensation. Once she accidentally be wrong. He visited her every day, chatted ran a needle through the index finger of her right with her, and watched her closely. One morning hand, but felt no pain whatever. The physicians he said to her abruptly:

who were called to treat her declared that her “Look here, what nonsense it is for a fine, condition was incurable. strong girl like you to be lying in bed all day? For nearly nine years the unfortunate woman Why don't you get up?"

was a helpless paralytic. One day she asked a She stared at him in amazement, while he girl who was staying with her to take down a went on:

bottle that had been standing for a long time on a "You are quite well now, there really is nothing shelf. The girl, obeying, found a dead mouse in the matter. You can walk as well as I can. the bottle, and forthwith brought it to show to Let's see you do it.”

Mrs. Sandford, who, as "But,” she began.

it happened, had more “Don't say you can't,”

than the usual feminine he interrupted. “I know DON'T be afraid of thinking

fear of mice. At sight of too highly of yourself, for you can, and I want you

the little animal, which to do so at once. So get if the Creator made you, you

she believed to be alive, out of bed and walk must have inherited divine,

she uttered piercing across the room.” omnipotent possibilities, you

shrieks of terror, continAnd, in fact, to her evimust partake of His qualities.

uing until assured that dent astonishment, she

the mouse was dead.

Observe the strange

to this, had she ever been sequel. That night she IT was not intended that man

afraid that she might be slept scarcely a wink, and

I should be a slave to his pas attacked by epilepsy like the following day (Sunsions, a victim of his moods, or

her mother?" day) felt a curious, tinthat he should need to consult

“Yes, indeed. Ever gling sensation in her his feelings as to whether he can

since she was a child she right side. When she perform the duties of a man, or

has worried about that awoke Monday morning carry out his life program. He

more or less. But, docshe found to her intense was fashioned to rule, to domi

tor," hopefully, “do you surprise and delight, that nate, to be ever master of

mean to say that you she could use her right himself, of his environment.

don't believe she is epihand fully as well as

leptic?" before the paralysis at

“I believe," was the retacked it, and that she

ply, “that she thinks she could walk unaided. Of course she was very is an epileptic, which in her case amounts for all weak. But she regained strength with phenome practical purposes to the same thing as being one. nal rapidity, and soon made a complete cure. But I also believe that if I can persuade her to Since then her health has been of the best. think differently, she will no more be tortured

like this.” TN another case there was brought to the clinic A prediction which, it is enough to say, was

conducted by an eminent Boston neurologist, abundantly verified by the results of the simple Dr. Morton Prince, a young woman afflicted with drugless treatment which Dr. Prince proceeded to attacks resembling what is known as Jacksonian apply. Only a few weeks and the spasm-racked epilepsy, a dread and incurable disease. The sufferer was once more a healthy, efficient memattacks took the form of convulsive spasms of ber of society. frequent occurrence, lasting several minutes at a time, involving the abdominal muscles, the NTOW, I have cited these cases not because of diaphragm, and the muscles of the larynx, and IV their singularity, nor with any desire of presenting a frightful spectacle to all who exploiting them as “miraculous cures,” but bechanced to see them. Her parents had been told cause they afford a vivid view of what is one by more than one physician that she was un of the most wide-spread and disastrous, and doubtedly a victim of epilepsy, and they readily certainly the strangest, of all diseases. This is believed this, the more so since one of them, the the disease, hysteria.. mother, was herself an epileptic.

Most people undoubtedly will feel surprised at But Dr. Prince, like the physician in the case of being told that hysteria is a separate and distinct the girl with the tubercular hip, as a result of his disease in itself, like cancer or tuberculosis. clinical examination found reason for thinking When they think of it at all, they think of it as that a wrong diagnosis had been made. He took merely the manifestation of a peculiar temperathe parents aside, and questioned them privately. ment which causes persons to weep or laugh im

“How long,” he asked, "has she been this moderately at small provocation. Thus we hear way?"

a great deal about “hysterical laughter” and "For many months."

“hysterical tears.” As a matter of fact, your “And before then? Did she never have any true hysteric seldom laughs and seldom weeps to attacks like these?”.

any great extent. Thus hysteria shows itself in “Never.”

a much more serious way-namely, in the "When did they first come on?”

mimicry of the symptoms of all sorts of other “She had a bad fright, fainted, and was for a diseases. long time delirious. It was while she was in her delirium that the fits began.”

THIS it is that makes hysteria such a potent "H’m. And what did you say when you saw

source of suffering, and that, until quite them? Did you talk about her condition in her lately, has made it a sad stumbling block to the hearing? Did you say that she must be epi medical profession. Indeed, even to-day, it is leptic?"

safe to say that the great majority of physicians, The parents glanced at each other.

however competent otherwise, are helpless in the "Perhaps we did. But she couldn't under presence of a case of genuine hysteria. For it is stand us. She was out of her head.”

only within recent years that there has been "That doesn't matter,” said Dr. Prince. “I any appreciation, even by specialists, of its real fancy she understood you fast enough. Previous nature or the correct methods for treating it; and,

[ocr errors]

above all, of the diagnostician means that may be faith-healing, it may confidently be affirmed that employed in order to avoid terrible blunders by one is dealing not with actual organic maladies, enabling the physician to discriminate with but with hysterical affections. There is, howcertitude between symptoms of hysterical origin ever, this additional and most important fact to and symptoms caused by organic maladies be noted: that, nine times out of ten, not even requiring treatment by drugs or by the surgeon's hysteria will yield to such rough-and-ready knife.

theraphy, but requires the most delicate manipu

lation to make sure of a permanent cure. And TN the cases I have cited we see hysteria simu- this for an excellent reason. I lating the symptoms of tuberculosis, paraly- Hysteria, as was said, is caued by distressing sis, epilepsy. There is, without exaggeration, experiences of an emotional character. These scarcely a disease which it cannot mimic, thus may occur long before the appearance of any leading in thousands of instances, to useless symptoms of disease, and, so far as conscious drugging and unnecessary and dangerous opera- recollection is concerned, may have been quite tions. If, for this reason alone, it is a duty forgotten by the sufferer. Indeed, whether they incumbent on every physician to learn all he can occur immediately prior to, or long before, the about hysteria—for which purpose I would development of the symptoms, the rule is that advise him to study carefully the writings of the they are thus forgotten; being, in technical great masters on the subject, particularly Janet, language, “dissociated from the upper consciousRibot Babinski, Freud, Prince, and Sidis. It is ness." But such dissociation does not imply that also important for the layman to acquaint him- they have been completely blotted out of reself with at least its fundamental facts, for hys- membrance. So far is this from being the case teria is to a large extent a preventable disease that it is now known that they persist as subEspecially, as we shall find, is knowledge of conscious memories; and persist, moreover, with hysteria important to parents, to the fathers all the vividness and intensity of their original and mothers who would see their children emotional coloring. It is to this subconscious grow up to healthy, robust manhood and persistence that the continued manifestation of womanhood.

the symptoms is due. As one distinguished And, to summarize the fundamental facts very authority, Dr. Sigmund Freud, has well said, briefly, it is known to-day, as a result of scientific “Hysterical symptoms are so many monuments investigation conducted along novel lines, that to forgotten emotional experiences. hysteria, no matter what physical symptoms it may display, is first, last, and all the time a TTYSTERIA, in a word, is primarily a mental disease; that it has its immediate cause in 11 disease of lost memories, and the effectivefrights, griefs, worries, and other experiences ness of its treatment by mental means—the only occasioning profound emotional disturbance; means that ever are effective in handling itthat these act, either directly or indirectly, as usually depends on the skill with which these “suggestions” giving rise to the particular memories are recovered by the physician, symptoms later developing; and that, being so that he may know exactly what it is that caused by suggestion, hysteria is likewise curable he has to suggest away. Since they are preby suggestion without the use of medicine of any served only in the subconscious, it becomes kind.

necessary for him to burrow, into the subcon

scious; and this he can do, if he has had the TNVARIABLY, when one hears of disease proper training.

I symptoms disappearing at word of command, But the narration of a few concrete cases will as happened to the girl with the “tubercular” make clearer than columns of disquisition would hip; disappearing as a

the methods employed result of shock, to recall

in, and the marvelous the amazing experience UJE do not demand the abun results obtained by, the of the paralyzed Mrs. W dance which belongs to us, psychological treatment Sandford; or, finally, hence the leanness, the lack of of hysteria, the genesis disappearing in conse fulness, the incompleteness of and development of this quence of “faith," as in our lives. We do not demand roy strange disease, and its many of the cures un ally enough.We are content with truly many-sided nature. questionably effected by too little of the things worth For it can simulate not exponents of Christian while. It was intended that we only almost every known Science, New Thought, should live the abundant life. bodily disorder but also and other systems of

the insanities.

« PreviousContinue »