The Magnetic Chain
Theosophist, October, 1879
We have read with great interest the first number of a new French journal devoted to the science of Mesmerism, or, as it is called, Animal Magnetism, which has been kindly sent us by that venerable and most illustrious practitioner of that science, the Baron Du Potet, of Paris. Its title is La Châine Magnétique (The Magnetic Chain). After long years of comparative indifference, caused by the encroachments of skeptical science, this fascinating subject is again absorbing a large share of the attention of Western students of Psychology. Mesmerism is the very key to the mystery of man’s interior nature; and enables one familiar with its laws to understand not only the phenomena of Western Spiritualism, but also that vast subject—so vast as to embrace every branch of Occultism within itself—of Eastern Magic. The whole object of the Hindu Yog is to bring into activity his interior power, to make himself ruler over physical self and over everything else besides. That the developed Yog can influence, sometimes control, the operations of vegetable and animal life, proves that the soul within his body has an intimate relationship with the soul of all other things. Mesmerism goes far toward teaching us how to read this occult secret, and Baron Reichenbach’s great discovery of Odyle or Od force, together with Professor Buchanan’s Psychometry, and the recent advances in electrical and magnetic science complete the demonstration. The THEOSOPHIST will give great attention to all these—Mesmerism, the laws of Od, Psychometry, etc. In this connection we give translated extracts from La Châine Magnétique that will repay perusal. There is a great truth in what Baron Du Potet says about the Mesmeric fluid:
“It is no utopian theory, but a universal Force, ever the same; which we will irrefutably prove. . . . A law of nature as positive as electricity, yet different from it; as real as night and day. A law of which physicians, notwithstanding all their learning and science, have hitherto been ignorant. Only with a knowledge of magnetism does it become possible to prolong life and heal the sick. Physicians must study it some day or—cease to be regarded as physicians.”
Though now almost a nonogenarian, the Baron’s intellect is as clear and his courageous devotion to his favourite Science, as ardent as when, in the year 1826, he appeared before the French Academy of Medicine and experimentally demonstrated the reality of animal magnetism. France, the mother of so many great men of science, has produced few greater than Du Potet.
A disciple of the Baron’s—a Mr. Saladin of Tarasconsur-Rhone—reporting to him the results of recent magnetic experiments for the cure of disease, says:
“Once, while magnetizing my wife, I made a powerful effort of my will to project the magnetic fluid, when I felt streaming from each of my finger-tips as it were little threads of cool breeze, such as might come from the mouth of an opened air-bag. My wife distinctly felt this singular breeze, and, what is still more strange, the servant girl, when told to interpose her hand between my own hand and my wife’s body, and asked what she felt, replied that “it seemed as though something were blowing from the tips of my fingers.”
The peculiar phenomenon here indicated has often been noticed in therapeutic magnetization; it is the vital force, intensely concentrated by the magnetizer’s will, pouring out of his system into the patient’s. The blowing of a cool breeze over the hands and faces of persons present, is also frequently observed at spiritualistic ‘circles.’