Mesmerism and Spirituality

Though very few remember him, Maser’s interpretation of animal magnetism marked the beginning of mental therapy as we understand It today. At a time when methods reminiscent of medieval superstitions were being viewed with suspicion. His theories bridged the gap between ancient superstitions and modern psychotherapy. Franz Anton Messes (1733-1815) was born on the 23rd of May 1733 at the village of Gazing near Switzerland, on the German side of Bodies (Lake Constance).He was originally intended for the church and studied at Jesuit University f Dillinger, Bavaria where he studied philosophy and theology. During his studies, he came Into contact with the works of Christian Wolff, who gave him scientific method and Descartes, which convinced him that heavenly bodies affected the lives of men.

Wolff had published an essay on the practical philosophy of the Chinese, one of the earliest of such works in the West.The interrelationship of Heaven, Earth and Man, implicit in this philosophy, deeply impressed young Anton and affected his whole worldview.

He later embarked on medical studies in the University of Vienna. He was the student of some the most famous physicians at the time, such as Gerard De Swelter (Empress Merle Thresher’s physically Anton De Hahn and Anton von Stock. His thesis “De influx planetarium in corpus human” (“Influence of the Planets on the Human Body. “) showed his growing interest in Paralegals’ theories.He wrote on the influence of the planets and their possible effect on human bodies by ways of and the element fluid.

He declared human bodies harbored a magnetic curative fluid that people could use to heal each other, thus a doctor could heal a tenant by touching them. However, stayed well away from any astrological theories or any other supernatural explanations. One of his goals was to have his method and theories accepted by the scientific institution of the day, this proved to be a very frustrating goal that reached no fruition and brought him misfortune.He married a very wealthy widow (Anna Maria Von Pooch) and established himself as a physician in the Austrian capital Vienna. He was very passionate about music and was a patron of musicians Including Mozart and Haydn. At that time, the orthodox treatment of various DOLS-or deer was Limited to such things as bloodletting, blistering and various medicinal concoctions. Magnets the recommend medium to carry this fluid (according to Paralegals) was readily available and was being used by some practitioners as a curative medium.

Messes was influenced by the work of (the unfortunately named) astronomer and priest Maximally Hell, who was already using magnets to relieve pain, and studied under him as an assistant. Franc’s first personal attempt In magnetism was with a young reined of his wife’s called Franz Sororities, who suffered from hysteria with symptoms including convulsions, vomiting, depression, blindness, lameness, fainting fits. His treatment was very successful and she went on to live a normal life and even had children. In time.Messes did not mention a very therapeutic factor- her confidence in him and her complete faith In his ability to cure her. However In time, he came to realize that he was unable to cure people who had no faith In him. Messes also using them.

In 1775, He called this form of treatment (the quality in animals which dad them sensitive to the universe) animal magnetism. Majority of his patients suffered from nervous conditions and he refused to treat organic illnesses. Most of his patients exhibited symptoms of being healed.However this idea of faith in the healer’ was experimented on before. For ages, man has tried to cure diseases without drugs through some invisible power and believed that the ‘soul’ had an influence on the body. These ‘miraculous’ cures were often brought about by rites and rituals. The Greeks came closer to modern methods and they dimly understood that to influence patients “soul” (which will in tune affect an improvement in their physical condition), the healer must gain the patients complete confidence.

This was often done through physical contact> Plutarch records that Porphyry of Pipers cured illness by touching the sufferer with his big toe. Apart from laying of hands they also believed that a patient must have a serene and hopeful attitude to be cured. For example in Temples of Healing, priests prescribed sleep for patients. However before they slept, they were told that they will definitely be healed, thus exerting a strong suggestive influence on them.Another ancient example of this will be the miracles of Jesus Christ, who healed people merely by touching them or proclaiming that they will be healed. He wept aside common belief that only powerful people were capable of healing and stated that any man could be a successful physician, given that he believed. (An example of this being the woman with the issue of blood who got healed simply by touching his garments).

Up till a three centuries ago, people believed that by being touched by a monarch, they could be cured of certain illnesses including tuberculosis.In 1784, King Louis XVI appointed four members of the Faculty of Medicine as commissioners to investigate animal magnetism as practiced by doesn’t. At the request of these commissioners the King appointed five additional commissioners from the Royal Academy of Sciences. These included Dry Antoine Lavisher, De Jessie of the famous French botanists, Dry Joseph-Ignite Guillotine, the astronomer Jean Sylvan Bailey, and the American ambassador Benjamin Franklin. With the exception of De Jessie, the members of the commission proved to be very narrow- indeed and unimaginative.

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