Mesmerism in India and its Practical Application in Surgery and Medicine by Dr James Esdaile is a testimony of the power of mind over matter. The Psychic Research Company of England had rescued this book from oblivion in 1902 because it contains the simplest, clearest and most convincing data on the power of the mind to control agonizing pain. To Dr Esdaile the marvel lay in Mesmerism. The Society felt that in the times to come man shall be able to help himself through mesmerism and be able to control pain and restore health while he is in a normal waking condition. The author experimented it successfully among the natives of Bengal.
James Esdaile commissioned the duty of editing the case studies presented in this book to his brother David Esdaile, who did so on the basis of long correspondences mailed to him by Dr James from India.
James Esdaile (1808-59) was a Scottish surgeon who served for twenty years under the East India Company in India. He was a notable figure in the history of mesmerism and is considered a pioneer of painless surgeries under hypnosis.
There is a frankness, an absence of art, about this book which makes its testimony to the power of mind over matter of double worth. No one may question the facts here recorded. They are FACTS, and they are recorded, as Truth should be, in simple speech.
It may be asked by the non-professional reader if it was necessary to present to the laity this record of the somewhat sickening surgical operations performed painlessly by Dr. Esdaile sixty odd years ago in India. Our answer is that this is Dr. Esdaile's book, as he wrote it, and as he would wish it to be reprinted were he alive today. It will be very easy for the lay-reader to skip those portions which offend his taste. He will find sufficient other matter in these pages to repay his close attention. The Psychic Research Company has rescued this book from oblivion because it contains the simplest, clearest and most convincing data on the power of the mind to control agonizing pain.
It is nothing that we disagree with Dr. Esdaile touching the nature of the power or force manifested. To Dr. Esdaile the marvel lay in the thing—Mesmerism; in the operator, or mesmerizer. To us this book is clearest evidence of the power that lies in the subject—the mesmerized person. To the author his work was a tribute to the power of a man to help his fellow. To use it is a promise of the time to come when man shall help himself. The full importance of this collection of facts can only be appreciated when we grasp the idea that all the phenomena here nro-duced by mesmerism are capable of reproduction by auto-suggestion, The control of pain; the restoration to health, &c., are effects which man, with-out the aid of another, can, and some day shall perfectly, accomplish in him-self by the power of his own will while he is in a normal waking condition.
Let us honor the man who blazed the path. We have little to do now but cut away the underbrush.
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