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Boris Sidis, Ph.D., M.D.

Boston: R. Badger, 1914




THE hypnoidic state is the formation of a quasi-personality with a more or less definite character, a personality that is inaccessible to direct suggestion. The hypnoidic state, however, is amenable to indirect suggestion. By means of indirect suggestion it is even possible entirely to remove this hypnoidic personality, and have it replaced by another which may soon vanish to give room to another personality widely different in character and memories. Hypnoidic personalities rise like bubbles from the subconscious and vanish. They may however become well organized, stable and permanent.

      Hypnoidic states consist in the recurrence of outlived phases of the patient's personal life. The hypnoidic state forms a quasi-individuality, the upper consciousness of the patient being removed. Memories which the upper self is unable to recall and which seem to be altogether effaced suddenly rise to the surface of consciousness as the upper layers of mental activity are removed.

       In hypnosis the removal of the waking consciousness is followed by a state of high reflex suggestibility, which is characteristic of the indefinite nature of the secondary self. In the hypnoidic state such suggestibility is absent, because another quasi-personality emerges having a more or less definite character, a personality which is not amenable to direct suggestion means of indirect suggestion it is possible to remove this personality and replace it by another which may again be treated in the same way.

      Hypnoid states present phenomena of two or of more co-existent, dissociated, co-conscious mental systems; hypnoidic states present phenomena of mental alternation. Instead of the simultaneity of two or more independent functioning systems of the hypnoid states, we find in the hypnoidic states alternation of two or more independently functioning systems. When one is present the other is absent or is dormant subconsciously.

      The interrelation of the alternating states may be of such a character that they may be completely unknown to one another; or they may be known to one, but not to the other. Thus the first series of states may not know the second series, nor the second the first; or while the first series does not know of the second, the second series does know the first. In the first case the dissociation is complete, in the second case, the dissociation is fully present in the primary series, but not in the secondary.

      Suppose, for the sake of illustration, consciousness consists of moments A, B, C, D, E, etc., then in the case where the states are unknown, the primary series consists say of A, B, while the secondary series consists of C, D, E, F, both series are independent and dissociated and as such are unknown to each other. In the case, however, where the secondary knows the primary, but not the reverse, then the secondary consists of all the functioning moments while the primary consists only of A, B, and as such it does not know the rest of the moments C, D, E, F, etc.

      The secondary states may be wide and extensive enough as to include the primary states, or they may be narrow as to exclude them. In the former case the secondary states may be regarded as more or less complete states, while the primary states are the incomplete ones. Frequently, however, both primary and secondary states are incomplete, and while they may have in common many of the lower automatic and secondary reflex psychic activities, they lack common elements of conscious memory, and hence there is no recollection of one series by the other.

      The whole series of primary states represents a flowing synthetic organic unity with recognition and recollection of all the primary states; while all the secondary states form another independent, but also an organic unity having recognition and memory for all the secondary states that enter into the flowing unit. In other words, two personalities are formed which to all intents and purposes may be regarded as independent of each other and having two separate centres of synthesis giving rise to the cyclical phenomena known as a double consciousness.

      If the cycle appears but once, we have monocyclical bimorphosis, if the cycle is repeated, the condition is polycyclical bimorphosis.

      There is, however, no reason why the separate series should be limited to two, although this is the most common occurrence. There may be many separate series, with as many independent foci of synthesis giving rise to as many different individualities. In such a case we have the phenomena of multiple consciousness or of multiple personality, in short, the phenomena of polymorphosis. If the cycle occurs but once, then the polymorphosis may be said to be monocyclical, if the cycle is repeated the polymorphosis is polycyclical.

      The formed personalities in polymorphosis act as independent individual beings and enter into relations, conversations, and discussions, the whole presenting a dramatic play in which many personages take active part, successively as well as simultaneously. Such, for instance, are those functional cases of multiple personality, reported by many writers, cases which to a certain extent may be reproduced artificially. These many personalities may fuse and form a new personality with all the contents of memory belonging to them, and as such, may have recognition of all of them, or may entirely lack all recognition of them.

      The hypnoidic states may develop into distinct individualities which may become sharply defined in character with strong claims of independent personalities. They are jealous of their independence and strenuously resist attempts at fusion. The quasi-personality formed puts forth claims of being an independent individual, not even related to the patient's personality of which it is really a constituent. In such cases we usually find one or two predominating personalities which present a high degree of stability and individuality, while the rest are unstable, they come and go and get character and individuality by insistent questioning and indirect suggestions given to them by outside people and their surroundings.

      There is no doubt that the very interplay of the principal dominating personalities as well as of the subordinate ones is in itself an important factor in the strengthening of the various crystallized individualities, which at first may come into being in a rather amorphous condition. The interrelation of these different quasi-individualities, though seemingly so insistently and aggressively independent, is really a very intimate one, they are all chips of the same block.

      A hypnoidic state or fully developed independent personality may be formed of the whole or part of the content of the principal personality, but it does not recognize the source from which the content is really derived. The personalities, however, may become so far dissociated as to possess even different contents so that one cannot reproduce that of another; they are in short, crystallized and organized of different elements, and go to form different individualized moments-consciousness, which as far as time relationship is concerned may stand in relation of co-existence, or succession, or even both.

      The character of the hypnoidic individuality is often some outlived phase of the patient's personal life. Such states may also be induced in hypnosis, but then the artificially produced hypnoidic state is vague and ill defined. More frequently the hypnoidic state may be fully brought about in post-hypnotic states. I could effect an analogous state in my somnambulic subjects by post-hypnotic suggestion. The difference between the post-hypnotic and the true spontaneous hypnoidic state consists in the relation of the subject to external impressions. In the post-hypnotic state the subject receives external impressions directly and refers them to some external source. He hears, sees, feels, perceives things that happen around him, and frequently carries on animated conversations on different topics. Even in the case of post-hypnotic negative hallucinations, the patient is still fully alive to other not inhibited sense impressions that reach him from all sides.

      Quite different is the true hypnoidic state. The sense-organs of the patient are closed to the impressions of external stimuli. He does not perceive anything that takes place around him. His environment is that of the past, and in it he lives and moves. Shut up within one of his past lives, he remains insensible to the world of his objective present.

      If by chance any impressions do reach the subject, they are at once worked into his present hallucinatory life experience. If the patient is touched, squeezed, pricked, he feels nothing at all; he is totally anaesthetic and analgesic, and still within his "vision" he may be extremely sensitive to pain, shiver from cold, complain of fatigue, and undergo tortures of pricking sensations caused by a strong gale blowing icicles into his face. Of such a nature were the visions in the case of Hanna.

      The patient hears none of the conversation carried on in his presence. When the patient is spoken to on subjects not directly related to his resurrected life-experience, he makes no reply; he simply does not hear. Only when he is addressed on something relating to the experience he is passing through, it is only then that he makes a reply. He does not realize, however, that it is some one else when speaks to him; his replies to questions are to him either answers to his own thoughts or sometimesa case very rarehe seems to converse with some imaginary person within his hypnoidic state.

      No direct suggestions are taken by the hypnoidic personality. The personality is fully rational in relation to the environment in which it lives. Thus, in one of his hypnoidic states Rev. Thomas C. Hanna lived through a terrible accident that happened to him once. He was on Mount Jewett, Pa. The wind blew high. Lightning rent the sky, thunder crashed overhead. The gale gained strength and became a tempest. Broken branches and trees were falling on all sides. "There is an old woman with a child!" he exclaimed. “Oh, it is terrible! it is terrible!" he moaned. "We must run! we must run! I must drag the woman. Thunder! It is terrible! Save the woman. I am so cold! My heart is so weak! Oh, it is terrible! We must run! we must run!”

      To my question whether he knew Miss C. the answer of the hypnoidic personality was highly interesting and instructive. "Don't know her yet—acquainted with her a year later. From Mount Jewett to her is a year." (This was found to be correct). When I suggested to him that his friend S. was with him, he laughed me to scorn. "That is impossible!" he exclaimed; "S. is many miles away from here." I asked for the date. He gave the date in which the event took place. "It is August now," he said. When I insisted that it was May (the actual time when the vision occurred), the hypnoidic personality became impatient, raised its hand, struck the bed with great force, and exclaimed: "I am sure it is now August. You can not make me crazy!"

      All that tine the patient was sitting up in his bed, with his eyes firmly shut, blind and deaf to all impressions that had no relation to the "vision." By indirect leading questions this particular personality gradually dwindled away, and lo! a new personality appeared on the scene—a boy-personality.

      The Rev. Thomas C. Hanna became a boy of thirteen. The scenery changed completely. He was on Umbrella Island. It was sunset, it was "beautiful." He was expected for supper, but he was on the water, rowing and fishing.

      On awakening from his hypnoidic state, the patient remembered the "vision" very clearly; he could reproduce it, as if it were indelibly impressed on his mind. He could not recognize the experiences of his vision as events that had taken place in his past life; he did not know that I or any one else conversed with him and led him to give answers; nor did he remember any of the many statements to my indirect questioning he had made in his hypnoidic state. He could not remember the answers he gave me to the suggestion that his friend S. was with him; he did not know anything of the quarrel we had about the date; nor did he remember anything of the interesting information he gave me about the events of his life such as the date of his acquaintance with Miss C. He could only remember and that with extraordinary clearness and distinctness everything that directly related to the "vision" itself.

      Similarly in other cases, such as that of R., M. and F. states closely analogous were studied by me. They all manifested alternating, unstable personalities of a hypnoidic type.

      When left to itself the hypnoidic personality tends to disappear, to fall back into the undifferentiated mass of consciousness of the subconscious self; for the hypnoidic personality is unstable in its nature. Unstable, however, as the hypnoidic personality is, it is in closer contact with the subconscious life than is the waking self. The hypnoidic personality is in possession of facts, experiences, memories, of which the upper, central consciousness is ignorant.

      The following table gives the essential characteristics of the various states:





1. They can be artificially induced by the method of hypnoidization.

1. Hypnoidic states are rarely artificially induced; they are usually spontaneous.

1. They can be artificially induced in trance states or may arise spontaneously.

2. The upper consciousness takes direct cognizance of the hypnoidal states in the moment of their appearance. A prolongation of them tends to the disappearance of the waking consciousness.

2. Hypnoidic states are not directly cognized by the upper consciousness; the latter is always absent when the hypnoidic states are present.

2. Hypnoid states may or may not be cognizant by what we call the normal consciousness. These states are always co-conscious, and are usually present alongside the per normal consciousness of which they are independent.

3. The experience of hypnoidal states is vague, shadowy and fluctuating.

3. The experience of the hypnoidic state is very vivid.

3. The experiences are usually vivid.

4. Hypnoidal states possess mere bits, chips of past experiences.

4. Hypnoidic states form complete systems of experiences, whole personalities.

4. Hypnoid states may be parties of former mental states, but soon tend to independent mental content.

5. Hypnoidal states are normal, vestiges of a primitive rest-state.

5. Hypnoidic states are hallucinatory, dominant, subconsciously formed personalities of the alternating type.

5. Hypnoid states are often hallucinatory, and when fully developed become parasitic subconscious or conscious personalities.

























Hypnoidic states are of a nature entirely different from the hypnoid and hypnoidal states which are fragmentary, sudden intrusions of isolated subconscious moments consciousness into the upper regions of the waking personality, and can be induced by post-hypnotic suggestion, as well as by methods of hypnoidization. Like the hypnoid and hypnoidal states, they are not fragmentary, dissociated, mental dust. The hypnoidic states are systematized, hallucinatory, resurrected, subconscious personalities.

      In all states, hypnoid, hypnoidic and hypnoidal, we find, however, one common trait, and that is the emergence of memories or of mental systems that may be known and recalled, whether directly or indirectly, by the primary self.


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